Monday, 11 April 2016

Colombia...no recent confirmed Zika virus positives or reporting lag or...?

UPDATE #1: 24APR2016
Okay. Let me rephrase an issue I had from one of my posts yesterday-the one looking over the Colombian data. The relevant text was...


"I'm still not clear how the tally of confirmed cases is rising, but not showing up on the Colombian NIH graph (the red bars; the grey ones are clinical suspected cases). 
I've excised and posted the Colombian NIH graph to the left. 458 cases this week should show up clearly using that axis - it was the second biggest tally, just below Week No. 8 (also missing?) and 1.6X bigger than Week No. 4 which has been plotted and shows up clearly. I'm just assuming that the graph person has forgotten but would love to know if there is something else going on."

Below I've excised the relevant graphs from the most recent epidemiology report (Week No. 13 [2]) and also the one that first plotted confirmed alongside suspected Zika virus (ZIKV) cases (Week No. 11 [1]).

You can in fact see that the red bars have grown over the 3 week period - but that none of the 700 confirmed cases reported over that time have visibly made it into a bar after Week No. 5. So my question is whether that means:

  1. no newly confirmed ZIKV cases have been detected/become ill during the past 8 epidemiology weeks (keeping in mind that Week No. 13's report only reports data to 02APR2016)
  2. there is an 8-week lag in getting lab data into these reports?
  3. Someone forgot to update the graphs
  4. Colombia is no longer testing for ZIKV

 ..or perhaps something else altogether?


Week No. 11.
Data from [1]

Week No. 13.
Data from [2]
The lag seems to be the leading theory so far (see Tweet below)...but that's quite a lag. 

I find it strange that no-one seems to be critical of the testing lag here and yet it was the topic du jour for MERS in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Is it simply about the perception of resources - the Americas are perceived as resource-poor and the Saudis as resource abundant? 

In the area of lab testing, I'm not at all convinced that the Saudis were at all resource rich though. I don't think they were in any better position at the start of their outbreaks. Especially if the resource we measure is understanding about testing to understand the aetiology of an emerging infectious disease.

References...
  1. Added a new 3rd option which was not carried over from the orginal post 10APR2016  - and pushed the previous 34rd to 4th