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Could Ebola testing provide false negative results?

Ebola testing

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(NaturalNews) A major tenet of the mainstream Ebola narrative is that the chances of a false negative -- that is, the likelihood that an Ebola victim erroneously tests negative for the virus -- are extremely slim. But there are several major statistical flaws in this assumption which suggest that false negatives are much more likely to occur in the real world than health officials are leading us all to believe.

While it is generally recognized that no test is ever 100% accurate, the statistics being thrown around with regard to the likelihood of a false negative are grossly misleading. Dr. Jason Kissner, an associate professor of criminology at California State University, says the cause of this is a widespread misunderstanding of the data surrounding this issue and how to properly interpret it.

Assuming for illustration purposes that the rate of Ebola false negatives is only 1%, the assumption follows that there is a 99% chance of true negatives -- in other words, a very slim possibility that a negative test result will be inaccurate. In reality, however, the 99% portion of this equation only reveals that 99% of positive test results are, in fact, accurately positive.

It says nothing about the likelihood of a false positive in true statistical terms, which for some might be a difficult concept to comprehend. You can think of the 1%/99% duality, in this case, as an indicator of the accuracy of positive test results only. As Dr. Kissner explains, these somewhat confusing figures say nothing about the actual probability of a negative test result in general.

"The Ebola-related practical concern... is that a 99% true positive rate (also referred to as 99% 'sensitivity'), which speaks to what might be informally called the 'accuracy' of positive test results, does not really say much about the probability that a negative test result should be believed," wrote Dr. Kissner for Global Research.

"To generate that probability, the false negative rate must be combined with the prior probability that the person tested is not afflicted (which of course is by definition the complement of the probability that they are afflicted) with the illness as well as with the true negative rate, which is the probability of negative results when persons are actually negative."

Suffice it to say, the mainstream media is projecting statistical inaccuracies concerning Ebola that might appear to suggest a low overall risk of false negatives, but that actually deal only with the rate of false negatives being captured among those who are tested.

Ebola testing is only accurate if patient has been symptomatic for at least three days

Another issue with Ebola testing, as explained in multiple recent scientific reports, is when potential victims are tested. According to Dr. Sandro Cinti, an infectious disease specialist from the University of Michigan Hospital System in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it takes about three days once a person starts showing symptoms for the Ebola virus to accurately show up on tests.

This is critical, as many of those admitting themselves to hospitals with possible Ebola symptoms are doing so the day they start exhibiting them, or possibly the day after at the latest. Unless medical personnel across the country fully understand this, many Ebola patients will be discharged with false negatives, only to spread the disease to their friends and family.

"Somebody could be in the hospital for three to five days before a diagnosis [of Ebola] is confirmed," explained Dr. Cinti to Live Science. "The important thing is keeping the patient isolated until you can get to a diagnosis."

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com






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