60,000 Undiagnosed Covid-19 Cases in Australia

The researchers at the Australian National University conducted a preliminary research and found out that 71,000 Australians were infected by Covid-19 in mid-July. Furthermore, the study involved testing elected surgery patients across ten hospitals, in four states, to see if anyone had the antibodies to combat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 infections. The risk is prominent in everyone working at home to people who execute flower delivery in Australia.

Interpretation of the number of possible undiagnosed cases, through extrapolation of the research estimates in harmony with uncertainty parameters resulted in somewhere between 0 – 181050, which was most likely 71,000 people we were diagnosed only.

Accurate Statistic

Researchers can think of many mathematical models to give them a projection of the number of cases that we found to have been infected by Covid-19. False positive reports were mistakenly generated due to imperfect specificity of the antibody tests which had 11 false positives for every 1000 tests. To fine-tune these errors, we should consider four key factors when interpreting results.

  1. Highly Specific Antibody Test: This can ultimately prevent false positives from showing up and creating a mess of accurate statistics of covid-19 reports. This should also help prevent false negative cases which are even more sensitive.
  2. Sample Size: The larger the sample size is, the more the accurate the results will be. You do not want to select a small sample and compromise the results as the range stretches all the way to zero, which cannot be a variable in the statistic because there cannot be zero cases. But no matter what the sample size is, the false positive problems usually never go away if the prevalence of the data is low.
  3. Extrapolation: This is a question about how a trustworthy statistic can be generated by generalizing the entire Australian population. This is because it involves counting patients undergoing surgery, who may react differently or have different risks when exposed to the Covid-19 virus.
  4. Testing Method: This is the only way to be sure if the results are accurate. The better the testing methods, the more the reliable the outcome. Due to false positives appearing because of lack of antibody specificity, a solution could be to retest the samples with available antibody tests that have a specificity of 99.9%.

However, the main dilemma lies in the fact that some who were tested positive for the virus did not experience any Covid-19 like illness even though the sample may have included a substantial number of false positives that came in contact with a Covid-19 case. This is still a mystery.

Without a large sample size, more reliable tests and wider population sampling, there is little to find out about the prevalence of exposure to Covid-19. It would be unprofessional to use the findings and claim about the potency and the spread of Covid-19 across Australia.

Bottom Line

It will be unwise to take these estimates at face-value. Instead we need more comprehensive testing of the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and conduct further research on its prevalence overtime.

On the bright side, Australia should consider itself lucky to have low Covid-19 cases compared to many other countries. This minimizes the catastrophic results of false positives if the number of actual Covid-19 patients were to be very high in Australia. This is a major concern that was raised in Australia, but for the most part, researchers were indifferent towards false-alarms elsewhere on the globe.

This ultimately led to mental health or the people being compromised for the better part of 2020. A poor mental health often leads to a worse off physical health, which is more prone to a weak immune system.


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