COVID-19 clinicians wrestle with false negative results
As the rate of COVID-19 testing slowly creeps up in the US, public health experts have a new concern that many people with negative test results actually have the virus.
“If you have had likely exposures and symptoms suggest Covid-19 infection, you probably have it — even if your test is negative,” wrote Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine at Yale, in The New York Times.
Doctors and clinicians struggle with test accuracy all the time, across all areas of medicine. No test is perfect. Under normal circumstances, though, they understand the factors that contribute to false negative or false positive results from a particular test. They might also have more extensive data on the test that helps them interpret what it says. Not in…