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A broad nationwide survey of the United States was announced by the National Institute of Health yesterday (Friday April 10th). They are taking healthy volunteers over the age of 18:Probably a good move, but not what I was thinking of personally.If it's a set of volunteers, it's not random.If it's not random, you can't extrapolate the results to the population at large.The word ‘volunteer’ is a red herring - human trials always use volunteers. A bigger problem is the odd exclusion of people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or even with known exposure to a case. Since no one knows how many people that represents, extrapolation of the results will be difficult. EXCLUSION CRITERIA:Confirmed history of COVID19 infection or exposureCurrent symptoms consistent with COVID19 infectionThis is sort of like doing an election poll to see who will win the election, but excluding people who are party volunteers or related to one. But since 95% of the population will not be excluded, this shouldn’t matter much.A more serious failing is that they don’t specify how people will be recruited beyond saying: Sampling Method: Non-Probability . I can only hope that they are at least trying to recruit people randomly, so that the prevalence results can be applied to the general population, or at least to the vast majority of people without symptoms or known contact, and not just getting people who ‘volunteer’ to be tested (who respond to an ad, for instance.) I doubt it, but we can’t be sure, because they don’t say what they’re going to do, even in the ‘Study Design’ section.Dtb
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