Showing posts from December, 2020

COVID-19 recovery may be a long, tough challenge

After reading my previous two critical posts on mass testing , you may have got an impression that I tend to see COVID-19 and its causal pathogen as just another contagious disease and just another common bug which plague us on these fall and winter days. But it's not! Similar to influenza, COVID-19 falls into the set of the most dangerous infectious conditions present in the developed world. Recently, a nice and very important paper by my colleagues Thomas Sonnweber and Sabina Sahanic was issued in the prominent European Respiratory Journal (DOI: 10.1183/13993003.03481-2020 , open full text) with may tiny contribution as a data analyst. Interestingly, it seems to be one of a handful stories which investigate the recovery of COVID-19 individuals, both those with mild 'cold-like' symptoms and hospitalized patients, in a systematic way with a spectrum of quality-of-life parameters and hard-figure lung/heart function and imaging parameters. Let's have a brief look at the m

Can SARS-Cov2 mass testing help to combat the pandemic? The case of Italy

I'm working on this post a while after the first round of corona mass testing was held in two Austrian states, Tyrol and Vorralberg - with not really surprisingly low commitment of the society. For the neighbor Italian province South Tyrol, it's more than two weeks since the highly frequented mass testing campaign: enough to carefully say if it has helped the region to combat the pandemics. In my last post , I tried, quite naively, to assess the efficacy of the test by simply comparing incidences in two neighboring Italian regions. Now it's time to do it in a more systematic way by investigating the development of the pandemic in Italy as a whole, it's regions and particular South Tyrolean municipalities. At this point I'd like to thank my data sources: Wikipedia , South Tyrolean health authorities , ISTAT and the developers of Tyrolean municipality dashboard for sharing the incidence and mortality figures and mass test results with every curious citizen of the Ear

Does SARS-Cov2 mass testing make sense?

In four days from now, the first round of SARS-Cov2 mass testing is starting in Austria. Not really surprisingly, this topic has been dominating the political, scientific and colloquial debate of the recent weeks, even at my home. Well, let's have an objective look, how such an approach aiming at testing nearly the whole country's society with rapid antigen tests for SARS-Cov2 is going to work, if it can work at all and if it has a 'wave-breaker' potential in the current phase of coronavirus pandemic. And, important for all potential participants, we'll have a look what a positive or negative test result means to you.   Principle of diagnostic testing: true, false results and beyond If you are a data or healthcare professional you may well skip this first few sentences or treat them as a small refresher (and please make sure you read it if you're a politician...). As almost every diagnostic procedure in real life, from the pregnancy test to the debugger of your