CDC stirs controversy with Covid test explanation — Analysis
The confusion caused by trying to figure out where certain data from PCR tests go can cause outrage about the future of genomic sequencing
A tweet from the US Health Authority about Covid-19’s fate fueled conspiracy theories Wednesday as Americans feared their DNA would be analyzed without consent.
“Remember that #COVID19 nose swab test you took? Was the nose swab ever returned? If it was processed with a PCR test, there’s a 10% chance that it ended up in a lab for genomic sequencing analysis,”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tweeted.
The overwhelming majority of the replies were critical, interpreting the tweet to mean that the DNA of the people tested was being subject to analysis – and that the CDC was collecting this data without their consent.
Only a few people, mostly doctors, responded to the request.
“Of the virus…. Please specify you are talking about genome sequencing of the virus, not the person,” saidPatrick Hickey, a US Army doctor.
“Genomic sequencing OF THE VIRUS!! Another unforced error,” tweetedDr. Daniel Schumacher.
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Those who don’t pay attention to the tweet text and look at the link provided by the CDC will see quickly that doctors are correct. The six-minute explanation piece, which Wired published in January, explains that between five and ten percent (or more) of positive PCR tests for Covid-19 are sent to laboratories. A CDC official will guide the viewers through each step.
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