Dr. Threlkeld compares COVID-19 tests to wildlife camera, stresses positive tests are more important than negative ones

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 1:16 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to provide a COVID-19 update and answer questions.

Answering a question about whether or not to believe a positive test result from a COVID-19 home test or a negative test from a PCR rapid test, Dr. Threlkeld compared the results to wildlife cameras.

“If you buy a nice wildlife camera and point it out in the woods somewhere and you take 20 pictures overnight and you come back the next day and you see one picture with a deer on it 19 pictures without a deer, my question is are there deer in the woods or not? And the answer is yes,” Dr. Threlkeld said.

Dr. Threlkeld says that it’s far more likely to have a false negative than a false positive since a positive would involve some trace of the virus being there and a negative could have just missed it.

“[False positives] frequently involve an entire tray of a test run being contaminated, and the lab can usually tell that very easily because they’ll have all of the sudden 50 positives and that’s not going to be the case,” Dr. Threlkeld said.

Dr. Threlkeld continues to say vaccinations are the best way to prevent hospitalization.

He answered a question about whether or not natural immunity was good enough to prevent COVID-19.

“It’s supposed to fix viral infections, but over 600,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States alone. So sometimes it’s not good enough,” Dr. Threlkeld said.

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