South Korea reports “Re-Infected” – virologist Drosten has a different explanation

South Korea reports 91 cases in which people got infected after surviving illness with Sars-CoV-2. Virologist Christian Drosten of the Charité hospital in Berlin, the new positive Tests, however, for the aftermath of the initial infection.

South Korea’s health authorities reported on Friday the 91 cases in whom Sars-CoV-2-Infected again were positive for the Virus tested, although they were considered to have recovered. Quickly the question came up, if a re-infection with the novel Coronavirus is much faster than virologists currently suspect. Even the world health organisation said at the weekend the re-positive Coronavirus Tests: “We work closely with our clinical experts, to learn more about these individual cases,” she explained to news Agency “Reuters”.

Anyone who has tested negative, can be tested under circumstances positive

Christian Drosten not back the re-positive laboratory tests for re-infection with the Virus. Rather, the PCR Test is about the novel Coronavirus is currently standard can investigate, “only a certain amount of sample volume on the Virus,” he explains in the NDR Podcast from Tuesday. Therefore, it could happen that the test results were, especially at the end of the disease in the meantime, a negative, a few days later, but again positive and negative layers.

In order to clarify the mechanism behind this statistical phenomenon, trying Drosten, a practical comparison. “I explain to the students often”, begins the Berlin’s chief virologist. “You have a paddling pool full of water and gold fish swimming in it. Now you take a sample with a blindfold: a gold fish in it is time.“ Still, no one would deny that gold fish swim in the pool, so Drosten.

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The less fish now in the paddling pool swimming, the more likely it may happen, therefore, that in the case of a sample, no fish is included, the Professor of Virology. “It could happen twice in a row.”

“There are very few exact descriptions of the excretion curve of the Virus”

According to the current Definition of most of the health authorities of an Infected person after two negative PCR Test is considered cured. If you test more, for example, in the context of a study, but could be quite a positive test result including.

“Unfortunately, there are still very few detailed descriptions of the excretion course of the Virus in the patient,” says Drosten. Especially towards the end of the disease, detectable virus load could jump again, this time to approximately or slightly below the limit of detection. The Virus was then the gold fish are still there, but won’t always recorded in the sample and therefore the Test. “That is my explanation for this phenomenon – just because it occurs for such a short time after the hospital discharge.”

Different ways of thinking in Asia and Europe

“In Germany such a thing would not happen”, adds Drosten, “because we have a culture here that such results are relatively asks quickly, and that rules are also always seen with a possibility of an exception.”

Accordingly, German health authorities findings would usually first scientific question – and for possible reasons to explain it logically, marriage is a contradiction to a formulated regularity, as such, is classified would. “But in the Asian culture on the public health system, there is a much greater Strictness in dealing with such rules,” says Professor of Virology. Per se this is not a bad feature, but simply a cultural difference.

In the alleged “Re-infection” the physician, however, more statistically eye-catching random distributions as the actual infections, the immunity theory in order to speak a made Coronavirus infection resistance. 

Reported corona virus cases in Germany (click on your state)


Alleged criticism of Streek rejects Drosten

Also has said Drosten on Tuesday for the much-quoted “Heinsberg-study” of his Bonn colleagues Hendrik Streek. In the Public was created in the last few days of the impression, Drosten think rather little of the research in the field of the Bonn virologists Teams. So he should have after the presentation of the study by the Cologne Science Media centre organised interview, said: “I have just listened to this press conference on Phoenix, and I can deduce nothing. Because it is not easy to explain so little, that you understand everything.“ In addition, he had requested that the scientific data of this kind would have to be in a scientific manuscript published.

On Twitter Drosten clarified later that he wanted to crucify the Heinsberg-study, this is not. “There is no reproach to the gentlemen, only a demand. Discourse allows scientific opinion.“

This Expression of renewed Drosten in the Podcast interview. Therefore, he did not want to criticize the study. “Because I don’t have any basis to criticize you.” For a classication and evaluation of, among other things, important information concerning the procedure were missing. According to Drosten, the authors had previously published only the final results.

In academia it is, however, usual that you get in the way, so the methodology and the data base is explained. Only in this way study results are for other scientists to understand. Therefore, “it would be good if we would see such a thing, after this study was communicated strongly to the public.”

A question raised by Drosten in this connection, consists in the control of the positive test results. Thus, it is unclear whether the Bonn researchers had tested the subjects only once by means of a so-called Elisa Tests, the Virus – or if they had confirmed these Tests with other Tests in a scientifically appropriate.

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