Should the new crown promote family self inspection? Experts say self inspection makes disease control know nothing.

Should the new crown promote family self inspection? Experts say self inspection makes disease control know nothing.

Nucleic acid detection sites in American medical institutions have been difficult to meet the growing detection needs. In order to speed up the detection efficiency, the U.S. government is actively promoting the family antigen detection kit, so that users can easily and quickly detect themselves. However, who will track the self inspection results?

Experts say self inspection makes disease control know nothing.
self inspection

A comment on statnews website pointed out that self-testing is likely to make disease control agencies ignorant. Self detection allows users to quickly know whether they have been infected, so as to take more effective communication prevention and control measures; However, most positive reports have not been collected by disease control officials, and the lack of epidemic data will become more and more common. For example, a Halloween concert in Las Vegas caused hundreds of infections, which is defined as a super transmission event. However, the vast majority of infected people are positive for family self-examination, and their reports are missing from the disease control catalogue.

Atul Grover, executive director of the association of American medical schools and health policy researcher, has long tracked the availability and use of the new crown test in the United States, and expressed great concern about the hidden dangers of disease control of family self-test. The U.S. government recently announced to vigorously promote free home self-test kits. Although it has not spread widely, the FDA has approved more than 10 emergency use authorizations for kits, and home self-test will become a major part of epidemic prevention.

Family self inspection can alleviate the problem of insufficient resources to a certain extent, but if the test results are not reported in time, the disease control department will not know the real epidemic situation in the community. In particular, the United States has recently ushered in a new wave of Omicron mutant virus related epidemic. The epidemic reports of state and local governments are missing, especially the family self-test cannot submit genome sequencing, which will delay the discovery and trend assessment of Omicron.

Mara Aspinall, director of health catalysts group, said that at present, it is impossible to accurately understand the number of weekly home self inspections, but it is estimated that home self inspections have become the mainstream of testing. At present, the United States carries out about 40 million tests every week, including 12 million institutional nucleic acid tests and 28 million antigen tests, most of which are home self-test. This proportion will increase as more self-test kits are approved. This will mean that the information gap will gradually change the epidemic management to personalization, and disease control measures will rely more on users’ personal choices.

The National Bureau of statistics contacted disease control agencies in 10 states and found that none of them could effectively track family self-test data. However, state officials said that they are full of confidence in the accuracy of test data and are taking effective measures to minimize the impact of non reporting of positive data brought by family self-test, including the use of nucleic acid retest, combined with waste water nucleic acid sampling to detect community infection level, so as to adjust public health policies, and so on.

Alicia shoults, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of public health, believes that more and more people are self-testing and reporting results, which is very helpful for government departments to understand the real situation of the epidemic. Even if they do not report in time, they will decide whether they or their families should go to work or visit relatives’ homes according to the self-test results, so as to slow down the spread in the community and protect vulnerable residents.

Grover suggests that it may be simple to solve the problem of self-report. You only need to add a bar code to the kit, and the tester can report the test results by scanning or calling. Recently, a biotechnology company said that it is cooperating with the family kit company to test, which not only provides an effective way for self inspectors to upload reports, but also provides free envelopes for positive testers, so that they can submit positive swabs for gene sequencing.

In general, home self-test needs a national solution. If there is no effective supervision mechanism, self inspection can not expand the detection capacity, but let the disease control department know more about the real situation of the epidemic situation.

reference material:

  1. statnews
    Growing use of home Covid-19 tests leaves health agencies in the dark about unreported cases
    https://www.statnews.com/2021/12/07/growing-use-of-home-covid19-tests-leaves-health-agencies-in-the-dark/

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