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Elon Musk says he tested both positive and negative for COVID-19 twice in one day


Elon Musk has claimed he did four coronavirus tests in one day, two positive and two negative, stating that something extremely wrong is going on.

& # 39; Was tested for Covid four times today. Two tests were negative, two positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD, ”the Tesla boss tweeted on Thursday.

The 49-year-old may have referred to Becton Dickinson's Veritor Plus System, a rapid antigen test that uses a nasal swab to get a result within 15 minutes.

The FDA says that any negative BD test result should be verified by molecular testing – for example, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Musk later revealed that he suffered from "typical cold symptoms" and warned of the conflicting results: "If it happens to me, it happens to others".

Elon Musk (pictured) said he tested both positive and negative for COVID-19 twice when he stated that "something extremely wrong is happening"

The 15-minute, FDA-approved test is performed by removing a nasal swab from a patient

The 15-minute, FDA-approved test is performed by removing a nasal swab from a patient

Their documentation for the BD test warns that even a positive result "indicates the presence of viral antigens, but a clinical correlation with medical history and other diagnostic information is required to determine infection status".

The Becton Dickinson Veritor Plus System

The 15-minute, FDA-approved test is performed by removing a nasal swab from a patient.

The cotton swab is then placed in a tube and as it is withdrawn, the sides of the tube are squeezed so that the liquid from the swab is caught in it.

A cap is placed on the tube and the sample is mixed thoroughly, either by swirling or flicking the tube.

The contents of the tube are then dropped onto a stick-like device with a small sample well at one end.

This stick is then left for 15 minutes before being inserted into the BD Veritor Plus Analyzer device.

The machine then generates the result on a display.

The FDA documentation for the BD test warns that even a positive result "indicates the presence of viral antigens, but clinical correlation with medical history and other diagnostic information is required to determine infection status".

Regarding a negative result, it states: “Negative results are presumed. Negative test results do not rule out infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment. It is recommended that these results be confirmed by a molecular test method. & # 39;

In October, Nevada health officials ordered nursing homes to stop using two rapid antigen tests after nearly two-thirds of the tests were false positive or people were mistakenly told they were infected with the virus.

The tests were the Quidel Sofia II and the Becton Dickinson (BD) Veritor Plus, the latter being the company behind the tests Musk claims to have used.

Source: FDA

Regarding a negative result, it states: “Negative results are presumptive. Negative test results do not rule out infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment. It is recommended that these results be confirmed by a molecular test method. & # 39;

Last week, the FDA announced that it had alerted clinical laboratory staff and healthcare providers that false positive results can be obtained with COVID-19 antigen tests.

BD, a major supplier of COVID-19 antigen tests, announced in September that it is investigating reports from U.S. nursing homes that its rapid coronavirus testing devices are giving false positive results.

In October, Nevada health officials ordered nursing homes to stop using two rapid antigen tests after nearly two-thirds of the tests were false positive or people were mistakenly told they were infected with the virus.

The tests were the Quidel Sofia II and the BD Veritor Plus, the latter being the company behind the tests Musk claims to have used.

A similar test by AbC-19 found only 81.7 percent accuracy in diagnosing a positive result, according to a study in the British Medical Journal earlier this month.

Researchers yesterday accused the UK government of "jumping the gun" by buying millions of the AbC-19 tests in an undisclosed deal before a thorough analysis was released.

Several Twitter followers joined Musk's discussion in which they questioned the inaccuracies and asked about the symptoms of the eccentric entrepreneur.

"Could that be why we saw such a big increase?" one person wrote.

“If it happens to me, it happens to others. I get PCR tests from different laboratories. The results will take approximately 24 hours, ”wrote Musk.

& # 39; Symptoms of a typical cold. Nothing unusual so far, ”he replied to another about his condition.

Musk then seemed to throw a punch at companies that developed the tests, responding "accurately" to someone who wrote that "the revenues from testing are likely not wrong and very consistent".

In a follow-up tweet, Musk added, "The carousel is spinning faster and faster."

Musk has repeatedly downplayed the scale of the virus, which has killed more than 242,000 Americans to date.

He tweeted back in March dismissing growing fears about the coronavirus outbreak as "stupid" as cases in the United States continued to rise.

The 49-year-old Musk then responded to a series of comments from followers revealing that he had "typical cold symptoms" and warned, "If it happens to me, it happens to others".

The 49-year-old Musk then responded to a series of comments from followers revealing that he suffered from "typical cold symptoms" and warned, "If it happens to me, it happens to others".

He then falsely told his 39 million followers that children were "essentially immune" to the virus and broke the statewide lockdown as "de facto house arrest".

However, Musk appeared to have had a change of heart when he shipped over 1,000 ventilators to a California hospital and promised to reopen Tesla's New York factory as soon as possible to make ventilators and distribute them to the embattled state.

But then in September Musk doubled his claims that COVID-19 poses no risk to children, saying he would not take a vaccine if it became available.

"I am not at risk for Covid or for my children," he said in an interview on the New York Times podcast "Sway".

A medical staff takes a nasal swab sample for a rapid COVID-19 test. Experts have raised concerns about rapid antigen tests, which are much cheaper and faster than nucleic acid tests, but are considered to be far less accurate

A medical staff takes a nasal swab sample for a rapid COVID-19 test. Experts have raised concerns about rapid antigen tests, which are much cheaper and faster than nucleic acid tests, but are considered to be far less accurate

His most recent comments come from experts who have repeatedly raised concerns about the accuracy of rapid tests.

Rapid antigen tests are much cheaper and faster than the alternative nucleic acid tests and promise results in just 15 minutes.

However, the nucleic acid tests, also known as RT-PCR tests, are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 tests.

They diagnose patients by detecting RNA or viral genetic material.

Antigen tests look for viral proteins and are considered far less accurate.

MailOnline asked BD for a comment.

TRUE PREDICTIVE VALUE: HOW EVEN A GOOD TEST CAN LEAD TO WRONG RESULTS 50% OF THE TIME

The USA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in May that coronavirus antibody tests could be wrong 50 percent of the time, even if they are high quality.

It has been warned that antibody tests are not accurate enough to be used for policy making, since even with a test specificity of 95 percent, "less than half of positive tests will actually have antibodies".

That's why:

Antibody testing with a highly regarded accuracy can still lead to large error rates if only a small part of a population has been infected.

For example, a 95 percent specific test always leads to five false positive results in a group of 100 people.

Even if it's sensitive enough to identify everyone who actually had the disease, it still returns five false positives, and the impact on survey results can be large when the number of true positives is small .

If the prevalence of antibodies is low – for example, only five percent of the people in the group have had the disease – half of the results could be false. In this situation, the 95 percent test would produce 10 positive results – five of them right, five wrong.

This means that the functional accuracy of the test, known as the true predictive value, is only about 50 percent.

The effect of these false positives is amplified when the prevalence of the virus in the population is low and less noticeable when the prevalence is high.

For example, if 30 percent of the population is infected, those five false positives are offset by 30 true positives, making the test 85 percent more accurate.

A more specific test can reduce this effect. For comparison, a specific test of 99.9 percent would give a false result per thousand – 100 per million.

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