I’m a doctor and this is the true meaning of a blurry line in your Covid test

Performing lateral flow tests has become a way of life these days to prevent coronavirus from spreading.

Waiting for the little red lines to appear on the test has become an event we are all familiar with.

Faintly positive lateral flow test result


Faintly positive lateral flow test resultCredit: Sun Online

Today, new regulations have been put in place, which means you no longer have to have a follow-up PCR test if you have a positive lateral flow without symptoms.

However, if the “positive” line is very faint and appears after a certain amount of time, it really means you don’t have an infection, the doctor said.

Post a photo of a vaguely positive lateral flow Instagram, London-based A&E’s Dr. Nathan explains what it means.

“Basically, if *any* lines appear before the end of the explanation window (check the leaflet, usually 30 minutes), then this is a *positive* test and you have to get rid of it,” he said. isolate and place PCR.

“However, if a line appears *after* the explain window this does NOT count as a positive test. You don’t need to isolate and you don’t need to set a PCR.”

But if you have symptoms, regardless of the lateral flow test results, you should isolate and schedule a PCR test.

Although most of us have now performed a lateral flow test at some point, it is important to always read the instructions.

This is because tests are performed by different manufacturers and may have different requirements to ensure they are performed correctly.

For example, some tests require you to perform both a mouth swab and a nose swab – while some only require a nose swab.

Regular testing is key in the face of Omicron, especially since it’s been shown that the virus is milder – and can therefore be mistaken for cold and flu-like symptoms.

The Omicron infection continues to spread and it is now responsible for 90 per cent of cases in the UK – but scientists had hoped that this variant would not be as deadly as those that preceded it.

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A series of extremely positive studies show Omicron to be milder than other vaccinated strains, with the first official UK report showing a 50 to 70 per cent lower risk of hospitalization compared to Delta .

Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.

The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get vital additional vaccines in the UK’s arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.

Nathan, who follows @expedition_doctor on Instagram, said he received a positive PCR result after a very faint lateral flow test result.

So what would a faintly positive test result mean beyond the 30-minute mark, if not Covid?

Nathan gives his point of view: “If a faint positive line appears after the time window, it is most likely caused by some contamination (e.g. food or drink or some other irritant). other very weak contamination causing false positives), or only extremely low levels of the virus.

“If it’s the second case, and obviously assuming you’re asymptomatic at this point, then you’re very unlikely to be at risk of transmission anyway and so it makes very little sense.”

While NHS guidance says you don’t need to self-isolate if your lateral flow test is negative, if you have a faint positive line, Dr Peacock advises taking extreme precautions.

He recommends social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask and continuing to experiment with LFTs in line with NHS guidelines.

It might be a good idea to do more internal flow tests over the next days to see if the results become stronger.

The change from negative to positive can happen within a few hours, experts have pointed out.

You must report all lateral flow test results to the NHS.

A critical review found that the lateral flow tests used in the UK are almost always correct when they are positive (99%).

But they are less accurate when giving negative results.

Tests miss 60% of the positives that can be found through PCR, meaning that many people with Covid are said to be “false negatives”.

South African scientists are concerned that lateral flow tests will not be able to identify the Omicron variant, which is growing rapidly in the UK.

However, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) says its own analysis has not shown this to be the case.

They tested five lateral flow generators used in the UK against Omicron and the older strain of coronavirus.

The tests correctly identified all positive samples except for one older strain, which gave false negatives.

How does lateral flow testing work?

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive, said: “Our data suggest that LFD tests have a similar ability to detect COVID-19 in people who have been exposed to Omicrons as in those who have been exposed. with previous variations. This is very encouraging.

“As we are all working to limit the high transmission of this variant over the Christmas period, we encourage everyone to get tested regularly, especially before attending social gatherings. festival.

“As always, booster vaccines are still the best protection against infection. Please come to receive your booster as soon as possible. “

This intensified campaign comes at the forefront of the Government’s plan to deal with Omicron, which threatens to plunge the UK into another stalemate.

The Sun is also calling on readers to sign up for the Jabs Army campaign so that the rollout goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Booster injections are the best defense against Omicron, with early data showing it’s up to 75% effective for infection and 80% for severe disease.

2 I’m a doctor and this is the true meaning of a blurry line in your Covid test

Fry Electronics Team

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