Fact-checked by: Science Feedback

2020/11/09 | United States

FALSE: Director of the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci stated that large numbers of positive COVID-19 cases may arise from oversensitive tests that pick up mere fragments of the virus. Hence many patients may have been receiving false-positive test results.

Explanation: PCR tests to detect viral diseases that have a high level of sensitivity can produce a positive result even if a person only harbors trace amounts of virus or non-infectious virus, like in recovering patients. Hence a positive test result from a PCR test without additional information about viral load cannot be used to determine whether an infected person should self-isolate or their contacts should be traced. Although a positive test alone does not provide information about whether the person is contagious, it can confirm whether the person is infected and is useful for monitoring the spread of the virus. It is therefore appropriate to count a person with a positive result as a COVID-19 case.

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This false claim originated from: Daniel Payne, Just the News

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