The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest coronavirus dashboard combines data on two different kinds of tests that experts say could be inflating key statistics that epidemiologists use to monitor the outbreak.

  • The CDC’s latest coronavirus dashboard combines data on two different kinds of tests that could be artificially inflating key statistics that epidemiologists use to monitor the outbreak.
  • The agency’s recently released dashboard combines data on diagnostic tests, which identify current infections, with serological tests, which detect whether someone has previously been infected.
  • Epidemiologists caution that the tests are not designed for the same purpose and mixing the data could mask reality.

The agency’s recently released Covid-19 Data Tracker’s dashboard on testing combines results for both diagnostic tests, which identify current infections, and serological tests, which detect whether someone has previously been infected. Epidemiologists caution that the tests are not designed for the same purpose and mixing the data could mask reality.

The CDC says it aims to separate data on the two types of tests, soon.

″[The dashboard] includes diagnostic and serology results, which includes repeat testing for individuals, as well as serology testing counts and additional serology test information from commercial laboratories,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said, in a statement to CNBC. “We hope to have the testing data broken down between PCR [or diagnostic testing] and serology testing in the coming weeks as well.”

The CDC did not respond to CNBC’s query about why the data was published combined. The Atlantic first reported on the CDC’s data.

Read full article here.

William Feuer – CNBC – May 21, 2020.

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