Confusion In The United States Over Reports Of Coronavirus Data

Providence, Rhode Island – As states resume economic activities, elected officials, businesses, and others rely on coronavirus testing and information on infection rates for this disease to see if a second wave of infections is approaching and whether it will be. Another round of orders to stay home is necessary.

However, states report those numbers in different ways, and that can lead to frustration and confusion about what those numbers mean. In some places, there have been information gaps that leave local leaders wondering whether they should reduce or reinforce restrictions. In other entities, the authorities are accused of altering the numbers to make it appear that their states are doing better and justify their reopening.

This is already a continuing issue in the United States, where the lack of federal leadership in the response to the pandemic persists. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have bundled tests that measure different things.


Such mistakes make CDC’s numbers of how many Americans are infected “not interpretable,” creating a misleading picture for people trying to make informed decisions, according to Ashish Jha, director of the Institute of Global Health. from Harvard.

“It is up to the health departments and the CDC to make sure they are presenting accurate information. And if they can’t have it then they don’t show the information, ”said Jha. “The faulty data is much, much worse than no data,” he added.

CDC and multi-state officials have acknowledged that they combined the results of viral tests, which detect active cases of coronavirus essentially from the start of infection, with antibody tests, which check for proteins that develop after a week or more than one infection and show if a person has ever been exposed.

Viral test results should be reported separately, public health experts said. This makes it possible to track how many people have active infections, the percentage of people who test positive for the virus and how these numbers change over time, all of which is crucial to guide public policies.

Mixing the results makes it difficult to understand how the virus is spreading. It may give a false impression that the rate of positive results is decreasing, they added.