The novel coronavirus continues to baffle public health experts and those on the front lines.
Still, for patients and those who suspect they might have COVID-19, one blunt assessment by a noted physician has made the pandemic even more perplexing.
In an exclusive live stream interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) broadcast over Facebook, Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb, an assistant professor and attending Emergency Department Physician at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said tests results might not provide true answers to whether an individual has the coronavirus.
“I think most people who interface when they get test results believe the result is the law. ‘I have it, or I don’t have it,’” Dr. Webb stated during the live stream, titled “Accessing COVID-19: Testing and Availability.”
“But not all tests are created equal or perfect, and what it means is that when you have a positive test, you probably have coronavirus, but the test result may be incorrect. If you’re having symptoms, you should stay at home and follow the directions of your provider,” Dr. Webb added.
“A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 isn’t in your sample and could mean that you don’t have it. But a negative test result could be incorrect, and you can possibly still have it.
“The health care provider must consider your symptoms, exposure, and where you live. We used to think about recent travel being high-risk, but not so much anymore because so much of the virus is community-spread.”
For the broadcast, Dr. Webb was joined by kinesthetic entrepreneur Reginald Swift, the founder of Rubix Life Science who is helping the nation’s coronavirus testing shortfall by offering more than 1 million tests from his company of scientists, engineers, doctors, and researchers who support varied organizations for work in infectious disease.
Rubix LS delivers information that makes it possible for robust therapies, policies, and countermeasures to increase patient health outcomes.
“We know that many organizations are creating massive amounts of tests, but because I wanted to direct ours toward communities of color, we’ve been told by Massachusetts, Illinois, Louisiana, and other state officials to work with the federal government,” Swift stated.
“We have 1 million tests available, and we have materials for what seems to be a supply chain issue,” he said.
As of this writing, there are nearly 2.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide and more than 138,100 deaths. The United States has more than 644,100 confirmed cases and at least 28,579 deaths.
“Cases can go from mild to a person becoming very sick and dying in a short amount of time,” Dr. Webb noted. “We know that the majority of patients are less than age 65, and young people are dying with no co-morbidities.”
Dr. Webb furthered cautioned that the novel coronavirus should not be compared with the common flu because it’s much deadlier. However, like the flu, Dr. Webb said COVID-19 could be seasonable.
“Lots of people are talking about peaks in the disease, less are talking about the plateau,” Dr. Webb noted. “At a peak, you might stay there for some time before the numbers come down. What we know in general is that a lot of experts are expecting that the novel coronavirus is seasoning as well.
“We have to have testing and effective treatment for combating this disease. We need to come together and work together with academics, private corporations, government, and policy. We have to function. Otherwise, our communities of color will continue to get hit harder and harder.”