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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(5152): 1642-1647, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1005171


Antigen-based tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are inexpensive and can return results within 15 minutes (1). Antigen tests have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in asymptomatic and symptomatic persons within the first 5-12 days after symptom onset (2). These tests have been used at U.S. colleges and universities and other congregate settings (e.g., nursing homes and correctional and detention facilities), where serial testing of asymptomatic persons might facilitate early case identification (3-5). However, test performance data from symptomatic and asymptomatic persons are limited. This investigation evaluated performance of the Sofia SARS Antigen Fluorescent Immunoassay (FIA) (Quidel Corporation) compared with real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 detection among asymptomatic and symptomatic persons at two universities in Wisconsin. During September 28-October 9, a total of 1,098 paired nasal swabs were tested using the Sofia SARS Antigen FIA and real-time RT-PCR. Virus culture was attempted on all antigen-positive or real-time RT-PCR-positive specimens. Among 871 (79%) paired swabs from asymptomatic participants, the antigen test sensitivity was 41.2%, specificity was 98.4%, and in this population the estimated positive predictive value (PPV) was 33.3%, and negative predictive value (NPV) was 98.8%. Antigen test performance was improved among 227 (21%) paired swabs from participants who reported one or more symptoms at specimen collection (sensitivity = 80.0%; specificity = 98.9%; PPV = 94.1%; NPV = 95.9%). Virus was isolated from 34 (46.6%) of 73 antigen-positive or real-time RT-PCR-positive nasal swab specimens, including two of 18 that were antigen-negative and real-time RT-PCR-positive (false-negatives). The advantages of antigen tests such as low cost and rapid turnaround might allow for rapid identification of infectious persons. However, these advantages need to be balanced against lower sensitivity and lower PPV, especially among asymptomatic persons. Confirmatory testing with an FDA-authorized nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as RT-PCR, should be considered after negative antigen test results in symptomatic persons, and after positive antigen test results in asymptomatic persons (1).

Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Student Health Services , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Sensitivity and Specificity , Universities , Wisconsin/epidemiology , Young Adult
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(41): 1497-1502, 2020 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-874997


On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the state's Safer at Home Emergency Order ( "unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable,"* thereby increasing opportunities for social and business interactions. By mid-June, Winnebago County,† Wisconsin experienced an increase in the number of infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with the largest increase among persons aged 18-23 years (young adults) (1). This age group§ accounts for 12.5% of the population in the county. To identify factors that influence exposure to COVID-19 among young adults in Winnebago County, characteristics of COVID-19 cases and drivers of behaviors in this age group were examined. During March 1-July 18, 2020, 240 young adults received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, accounting for 32% of all Winnebago County cases. In 30 key informant interviews, most interviewees reported exposure to misinformation, conflicting messages, or opposing views about the need for and effectiveness of masks. Thirteen young adults described social or peer pressure to not wear a mask and perceived severity of disease outcome for themselves as low but high for loved ones at risk. Having low perceived severity of disease outcome might partly explain why, when not in physical contact with loved ones at risk, young adults might attend social gatherings or not wear a mask (2). Exposure to misinformation and unclear messages has been identified as a driver of behavior during an outbreak (3,4), underscoring the importance of providing clear and consistent messages about the need for and effectiveness of masks. In addition, framing communication messages that amplify young adults' responsibility to protect others and target perceived social or peer pressure to not adhere to public health guidance might persuade young adults to adhere to public health guidelines that prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Wisconsin/epidemiology , Young Adult