07/21/2021: Lab Alert: Changes to CDC RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Back in July CDC announced its intention to retire the PCR test used to diagnose Covid-19 infections. This old story is new again because the retirement becomes effective in a couple of days, on Dec. 31.

I don’t know and can’t imagine what the consequences of discontinuing PCR testing might be. CDC notes that other Covid-19 tests are available and recommends that testing labs adopt “a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses.”

The PCR tests have been controversial since they were first introduced. Their rollout was marred by quality control failures at the CDC that disrupted viral surveillance during the early phase of the pandemic. Subsequently, the PCR test procedure had to be modified to reduce the rate of false positive results. Some experts also pointed out that patients suffering from the flu could be misdiagnosed as suffering from Covid-19 as the result of PCR testing. The inventor of the PCR test even warned that it should not be used as a diagnostic tool.

It will be interesting to see how and if Covid-19 surveillance reporting changes once PCR testing stops.

4 thoughts on “07/21/2021: Lab Alert: Changes to CDC RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

  1. I smell a rat.

    By dropping the PCR test, with its large number of false positives, and relying on more accurate tests, that will produce an artificial drop in cases, masking Biden’s failure to purchase enough Paxlovid.


    1. You might be on to something. Yesterday Biden claimed there is no Federal solution to the pandemic. Sure sounds like he is lining up excuses or engaging in a bit of preparatory gaslighting.


    2. Conspiracy #23, or is it #215?

      Beware, control of the people marching around with spoons stuck to magnetic foreheads.

      Does it ever occur to you folks that hundreds, if not thousands, of people have to swear a blood oath not to leak.

      I am starting to think that some minds are already captured. And they are the red footed ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “Does it ever occur to you folks that hundreds, if not thousands, of people have to swear a blood oath not to leak.”

        I have thought about that. Having held security clearances, I’d say the “blood oath” isn’t nearly as effective as compartmentalization (restricted access to sensitive information) in preserving secrets.


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