As the death toll caused by coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, rises to 1,113, concerns for proper testing continue to rise as well. If patients are unable to get tested properly there is no way of discerning how many individuals have actually contracted the virus. According to the WHO, around 4,400 cases have been diagnosed so far, most of them being in China. So far, testing and treatment for the virus have been successful for the most part, however, there were cases of flawed tests in the last week.
Concerns arose earlier this week as the CDC discovered the test kits that were sent out to the United States were flawed and were most probably not delivering proper results. It was found that the kits were giving inconclusive results and therefore could not be used as a valid means of detecting the virus. Not all testing kits displayed this problem. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported on Wednesday that their test results were definite and they were not experiencing an error with the kits.
The chances of missing the virus in a patient who is being tested are rare, but such cases have emerged. There was one particular case regarding a man who flew into the United States after being tested as negative for the virus, only to return to the hospital to be retested and told that he actually does carry COVID-19. This particular case was not due to the faulty test kits, but actually due to human error at the lab that initially tested him.
The good news is that epidemiologists are saying the outbreak is definitely slowing down and it could be over by April if the current efforts to control the outbreak are continuously carried on. Though the outbreak could still get worse at any moment, everything is pointing to an optimistic turn of events.
This, however, does not mean that major events have not been negatively affected and even canceled due to this sudden turn of events. the Mobile World Conference which was supposed to take place on Wednesday was canceled by the organizers due to concern of the coronavirus breakout. Not to mention the series of business interactions, and travel plans of thousands which have been canceled due to fear of the outbreak spreading and the travel ban currently being practiced by so many countries across the world.
Xenophobia becoming a serious problem
Those of Asian descent are facing racism and cold behavior across the globe. Targets of xenophobia have taken to social media to express the hurtful actions they have been experiencing. As is the norm after any serious disaster or outbreak, many people have taken to expressing their fear and concern over the virus through discriminating a specific race, which at this time happens to be Chinese individuals.
This sort of behavior is completely unacceptable and the hope is that as fear of the virus goes down, individuals of Asian descent will also be saved from this unjust mistreatment.