Understanding Coronavirus Tests

1. As background, please read the article “A ‘negative’ coronavirus test result doesn’t always mean you aren’t infected.” (Washington Post Science section, March 26 2020)
2. For the instructions, please see the problem description 0340 Hepatitis.
3. For the vocabulary, please see the definitions page.
4. The outcomes of this investigation are
– to discover the impact of prevalence, sensitivity, and specificity on the PPV and NPV of diagnostic tests
– to apply your understanding in the context of coronavirus.
5. The context of this investigation is diagnostic medical testing for Hepatitis A and C.
6. What to hand in:
– a table of PPVs and NPVs for Hepatitis A and C under various testing conditions
– detailed documentation of the computations for one PPV and one NPV
– a one-page description of how prevalence, sensitivity, and specificity impact PPV and NPV
– a one-page reflection on your experience with this investigation
– a one-page explanation of the coronavirus article that you could share with someone who has no understanding of conditional probability.

Grading rubric:
the accuracy of the computations,
the accuracy and clarity of the description of the relationships among the concepts,
the quality of the insights expressed in the reflection, and whether a fifth-grader could understand the explanation of coronavirus tests.

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