Covid-19: What Caused Positive Tests To Increase So Much Recently?

blob69

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Hi everyone, I live in Central Europe and in the last few weeks, the rate of positive PCR tests (percentage of positive tests) for covid-19 has increased tremendously here. I recall in March and April ("first wave") we had around 3% positive test rate constantly and we were among the countries that had relatively little damage from covid. Same goes for many countries around here like Germany and Austria. On the other hand, Italy in March and April had a very high positive rate on PCR tests - I think it was around 25% - and as we all know, they also had the biggest damage due to covid. I was wondering already back then, why on Earth does Italy have such a high rate and us and say Germany such a low rate? How can the difference be so big in countries that are situated so close?

But now in the last weeks, positive rate in my country and it seems also many countries around here (Central & Eastern Europe) increased steeply towards 25% or even more. Suddenly many, many people are testing positive. What is going on?

People here explain it as just a bad "second wave", but it all seems very illogical to me. It is not the real cold and flu season yet (that comes after December), temperatures have been warm, we have many measures (masks even outside), people apart from some getting colds and flus don't seem very ill... however I try to fit everything together, it doesn't seem as if the official theories can explain this.

So I was wondering, is there a possibility that we received a different batch of tests (tests that show a much higher percentage as positive) this autumn as compared to the spring? And Italy already received these tests in the spring? Because I can't explain this in any other way. I read that tests can differ quite a bit even in what sequences they look for etc.

If anyone has any idea what could be going on, please let me know. I expect the countries around here might follow Italy's case and will be hit badly this winter if this will continue.
 

TheSir

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So I was wondering, is there a possibility that we received a different batch of tests
Has anyone been, err, testing the tests? Picking them apart, confirming that they work as they should and that there's nothing fishy going on inside them?

The simplest explanation in my opinion is that the virus has had so much time to distribute itself evenly accross the populations due to people moving around and living their lives, that now it begins to appear everywhere at once, whereas in the beginning of the pandemic it was spreading from isolated epidemic centers. Schools remaining open are probably the largest factor contributing to the spread, back in the spring they were shut down pretty quickly. The fact that death rates have been declining implies that it is spreading mainly among the young population now too.
 

blob69

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Has anyone been, err, testing the tests? Picking them apart, confirming that they work as they should and that there's nothing fishy going on inside them?

I don't know, I just read a story online a while ago about some nurses testing blank swabs and getting back positive results. Not sure if it is legit though. Perhaps we should do it ourselves :)

The simplest explanation in my opinion is that the virus has had so much time to distribute itself evenly accross the populations due to people moving around and living their lives, that now it begins to appear everywhere at once.

This also doesn't fit the facts because in the summer when we had very few restrictions and were socializing the most here, positive rate was the lowest - I think for a while it even fell below 1%. It only started skyrocketing end of September. If PCR tests are so sensitive as claimed (they should detect even tiny amounts of the virus), the rate should have been much higher in the summer - if the virus spreads as they claim. And I don't buy the high temperatures destroying the virus idea because our bodies have a high temperature of around 37C...
 

TheSir

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This also doesn't fit the facts because in the summer when we had very few restrictions and were socializing the most here, positive rate was the lowest - I think for a while it even fell below 1%. It only started skyrocketing end of September. If PCR tests are so sensitive as claimed (they should detect even tiny amounts of the virus), the rate should have been much higher in the summer - if the virus spreads as they claim. And I don't buy the high temperatures destroying the virus idea because our bodies have a high temperature of around 37C...
Something to consider is that in the summer people were outdoors, whereas now they are gathering indoors. Viruses spread much better indoors because everyone is breathing the same air.
 

blob69

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Something to consider is that in the summer people were outdoors, whereas now they are gathering indoors. Viruses spread much better indoors because everyone is breathing the same air.

Still people were spending some time indoors (ie. in jobs, at home), it seems unlikely it would fall so low just due to this reason. And how do you then explain Italy in March - why would they have such a high rate back then already? And why my country so low? We border Italy and had many people cross borders then, also it's not like in my country people socialize much less than in Italy.

And besides, Italy had the worst covid situation in regions where they socialize less! Is social connectedness a risk factor for the spreading of COVID-19 among older adults? The Italian paradox
 

Geronimo

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I have to assume it has something to do with the unique flu vaccine so many Italians received in late 2019, and whatever flu vaccine was widespread now. America had a massive one week death spike two weeks after the flu vaccine here was introduced in September.
 

blob69

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I have to assume it has something to do with the unique flu vaccine so many Italians received in late 2019, and whatever flu vaccine was widespread now. America had a massive one week death spike two weeks after the flu vaccine here was introduced in September.

I agree, the vaccine could have contributed to deaths, but our current high PCR positive rate cannot be explained thus. Here flu vaccination will only start in November, so it couldn't have affected the rate yet.
 

R J

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It’s not even worth thinking about at this point
 

Blossom

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The masks are basically like having a Petri dish on your face in my opinion. I don’t think wearing one for an hour or two is a big deal for most people but wearing them for 8 more hours per day is probably causing more vulnerability to infection. More testing of course is leading to more positive results regardless if the people are symptomatic. We always have more respiratory illnesses starting in the Fall and declining in the spring. My husband is still in the medical field in the nearest major city (Indianapolis) and they haven’t had one positive case yet where he works. All the workers get tested weekly. What we are hearing on the news just doesn’t jive with what is happening in the community around us.
 

mrchibbs

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Please explain Italy then... see my post above

It's clearly vitamin D levels and sunlight exposure dropping. I posted charts for what's happening in my province (QC, Canada), and basically, we had a lull in infection rates precisely from June to September.

Add to that the substantial literature showing the effectiveness of vitamin D in limiting the severity of covid, that's pretty much it.
 

blob69

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It's clearly vitamin D levels and sunlight exposure dropping. I posted charts for what's happening in my province (QC, Canada), and basically, we had a lull in infection rates precisely from June to September.

Add to that the substantial literature showing the effectiveness of vitamin D in limiting the severity of covid, that's pretty much it.

I agree with all this, but it doesn't explain Italy... why did Italy have a 25% positive rate already in March and April, while a country (well, actually many countries) right next to it had a rate of only several percent?
 

Motif

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Why is there still no comparison of people who didn’t get symptoms and people who had it bad? Like vitamin / mineral / hormone levels etc? How easy would this be?

I don’t get it. This world is a joke.
 

boris

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I agree with all this, but it doesn't explain Italy... why did Italy have a 25% positive rate already in March and April, while a country (well, actually many countries) right next to it had a rate of only several percent?

Italy is known for bad flu seasons with overburdened medical systems. But that topic is seperate from your main question:

What Caused Positive Tests To Increase So Much Recently?

Answer: It is winter incoming and thus flu season. Coronaviruses are always part of the flu season in winter because peoples immunity is lowered. That's it. It's not like the news and politicians say, you cannot stop this by staying home or breathing through a piece of cloth, if anything that makes it worse.

Flu season peaks between December and February so be ready for lots of "cases" on the news.
 

blob69

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Italy is known for bad flu seasons with overburdened medical systems. But that topic is seperate from your main question:

What Caused Positive Tests To Increase So Much Recently?

Answer: It is winter incoming and thus flu season. Coronaviruses are always part of the flu season in winter because peoples immunity is lowered. That's it. It's not like the news and politicians say, you cannot stop this by staying home or breathing through a piece of cloth, if anything that makes it worse.

Well, we had one of the worst flu seasons in January/February this year (it always happens in those months), so perhaps the line could go that Italy had a strangely delayed flu season which arrived only end of March/April, but this seems a bit far stretched. Northern Italy has the same climate we have here. I think March is worse for flu than October, yet we had a 3% positive rate then and now a 25% positive rate. Plus it's not like everyone is ill with the flu here now, on the contrary, it is still quite rare. We have up to 20 degrees C outside these days.
 

boris

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There is a lot of information missing in those numbers. It depends for one on where and who got tested? The testing priorities change. Test primarily symptomatic people and the positivity rate will be higher. Test a larger part of the population it will be lower.
 

blob69

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There is a lot of information missing in those numbers. It depends for one on where and who got tested? The testing priorities change. Test primarily symptomatic people and the positivity rate will be higher.

That's interesting to explore. Italy was testing like crazy in March/April, while we had still very restricted testing back then. Now we're testing a lot here too. But why would a lot of testing lead to a much higher percentage of positive tests is unclear to me.
 

boris

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Plus it's not like everyone is ill with the flu here now, on the contrary, it is still quite rare. We have up to 20 degrees C outside these days.

A lot of people took "stay home" really serious. It would be no wonder if they are susceptible to infections earlier than usual this year. Add to that the stress of lockdowns and a "killer virus" on the loose. Personally I hear about a lot of people getting sick right now.
 
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