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WHO stops recommending widespread COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients

In the latest recommendations on strategies for testing COVID-19 The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is not currently recommending a broad spectrum of screening for people without symptoms. citing the cost of such a strategy and its inefficiencies.

“Currently, widespread asymptomatic population testing is not recommended. This includes self testing. This is based on a lack of evidence on the effects and cost-effectiveness of such methods. and concerns that this approach risks shifting resources from higher-priority testing indications,” the recommendation stated.

However, “countries that have the resources and want to expand the public testing Patients (regardless of symptoms) should demonstrate that they have the necessary public health infrastructure to respond to a positive outcome and that resources will not be taken from the test. Suspicious cases are the most important,” the WHO told The Epoch Times by email.

The World Health Organization added that The test should focus on “Where they are expected to have the greatest public health impact,”

; the World Health Organization said, adding, “This means that anyone who suspects [as defined by the WHO] covid-19 infection symptomatic should be prioritized for testing” regardless of vaccination status or disease history.

but in areas where the epidemic in the community continues Anyone who has been in contact with a probable or confirmed patient They should be quarantined for 14 days, regardless of whether they show no symptoms and are not positively confirmed.

A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, September 30, 2014. (Tami Chappell/Reuters)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its updated guidelines that asymptomatic and unvaccinated people should be quarantined and tested if they come in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Virus testing is recommended for people who are not vaccinated and who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19,” the CDC said. “These individuals should be tested immediately after detection and, if negative, have another test. Once in 5-7 days after the last exposure or immediately if symptoms occur during quarantine.”

Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to be quarantined, tested “or restricted from work” after coming into close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. If there are no symptoms similar to COVID-19 “Due to the risk of low infection,” according to the CDC. However, self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms is recommended for 14 days after exposure.

The CDC said it still recommends testing for “Fully vaccinated residents and employees of detention and detention centers and homeless shelters”

Patients will be considered vaccinated two weeks after the second RNA vaccination or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The WHO’s current recommendations for prioritizing testing for people with symptoms are consistent with guidelines given before the pandemic for the treatment and diagnosis of respiratory viral outbreaks. These include the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak and the 2012 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak—which focused on symptomatic cases. It is mainly to stop the spread of the disease.

The data indicate that asymptomatic metastases are not as widespread as previous studies claimed to be. and the risk of transmission from asymptomatic patients is low.

COVID cases may be confirmed with an antigen test.

Throughout the epidemic last year The standard for diagnosing CCP (Communist Party of China) virus infection is through the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test with a cycle limit value of 40 cycles and above. Over-reliance and misuse of the test as a diagnostic tool This is because it cannot differentiate between a live infected virus and an inactive virus fragment that is not infected.

Individuals who test positive for PCR with or without symptoms of COVID-19 are considered cases and are increasing daily in the number of COVID-19 cases.

CCP virus causes COVID-19 disease

The WHO then updated its recommendations on the use of PCR testing on January 20, 2021, warning lab experts and medical devices against in vitro diagnostics. Users will not rely solely on PCR test results to diagnose COVID-19. But the patient’s health history and epidemiological risk factors should be considered alongside diagnostic PCR testing.

Now, confirmation of COVID-19 cases can be done by antigen testing. Instead of undergoing a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as the widely used PCR test,

In its updated guidance, the WHO states that while “NAAT is considered the reference standard for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the antigen test can be used to diagnose CCP infection, “in the absence of NAAT or in the case of that the result will be delayed for more than 48 hours.”

Three situations in which a nucleic acid amplification test is not required other than the antigen test results are:

  • in people with symptoms in a high prevalence environment A positive antigen test result is not required by NAAT while an antigen test result is negative. “May be confirmed by NAAT at clinical discretion.”
  • in low prevalence settings Confirmation of a negative antigen test result by NAAT is not necessary. While positive antigen test results will depend on the clinic to confirm with NAAT.
  • in people without symptoms “Contact with confirmed or frequently exposed patients, such as healthcare professionals and long-term care workers.” The NAAT does not require confirmation of antigen test results.

An antigen test is an immunoassay that can detect whether a person is infected with the CCP virus in about 15 to 30 minutes and is less sensitive than a PCR test, according to the WHO. “Specifically sensitive for the detection of patients with high viral loads, such as cyclic threshold values ​​(Ct). [of approximately] 25-30”

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