Submitting COVID-19 specimens

Just wondering about people having (mild cases of) COVID-19. Could photographs of the sputum qualify as a legitimate observation?

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If they were diagnosed and can prove it then probably yes.
You can see conversations about that in recent topics.

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regarding viri, they are not organisms, though being replicated and manufactured by humans.

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I think it would be a legitimate observation, but it would have to be flagged as no evidence of organism unless a photo of the test results showing a positive result is also included.


I suppose you could, but one can’t confirm its ID from a photo or a sound. iNat wouldn’t be an ideal place to post it.


Also wondering, what use would images of a turbid yellow-green sputum be if it is basically same for pneumococci or sinus infection.


We do have virus taxons in iNaturalist, though.


Well, I know what non-cellular life is.)

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The definition of viruses being alive or not is actually a subject of debate among scientists. By the current textbook definition of life, they are not alive, but that doesn’t mean the definition couldn’t be wrong.

As I see it, they are replicating biological entities, that use nucleic acid, proteins, lipids, and respond to evolutionary pressure. Sounds alive to me. Some would argue that they are excluded by being obligate parasites, but there are plenty of other infectious agents that are also obligate parasites.


Maybe if you have electron microscope images of the virus :grinning:
I’m not aware about iNat collecting nucleotide sequence data, we already have other databases for it.
So unless its something that can be cultivated, like in case of bacterial colonies and can be identified using colony characteristics, I feel adding sputum images is not relevant


To put things into perspective of scale, it would be like photographing a lake and posting it as evidence of fish. There are databases showing cases of COVID-19 globally, so it wouldn’t really add anything of inherent value.


It will add a newspecies record for our database. Who cares about other databases? They all have species we don’t have, so we should find more of them for ours or it would make no sense.


No offense intended, but I’m particularly enjoying/appreciating iNat these days as one of the few COVID-19-FREE zones available. So this idea is about as appealing to me as getting COVID myself–sorry.


If you come down with COVID19 and posting it on iNat makes you feel at all better about your potentially fatal situation, then do it. Anyone that would criticize someone for making such an observation is a jerk. I know if I catch the virus I’m putting it on here. Plus, if it’s one of the last observations I ever make then people will be able to guess why. Just might want to be careful if few people in your area have it in case there are crazy people who will try murder anyone who has it for the greater good.

I would ask for a copy of my test results and put a photo of that up as my evidence instead of sputum.


Please remember that one of iNat’s Community Guidelines is to assume others mean well. I imagine you’re being facetious here, but let’s not prejudge here.


very impressive.

Let’s not. Let’s not post such photo. Please.

On the surface, a septum observation (for any virus, not just this one) is no more disgusting than the many photos of scat or viscera that are acceptable.


I had read your previous statement as saying virus observations weren’t appropriate for iNat. I was just pointing out the kingdom’s existing inclusion on the site indicated that virus observations are acceptable. Sorry if I misinterpreted you.


I wouldn’t argue, but still, ick!