Confusion as mum receives positive PCR results despite still testing negative on lateral flow tests

A mother spoke of her shock after her PCR test came back positive, even though she tested negative on lateral flow tests and continues to do so:

“When I woke up with a positive PCR test result, I was really shocked!” She explained. “Since I tested negative for side currents, I didn’t think I was going to be positive at all, so I was really confused.

“I took five tests in 48 hours and they all came back negative. I even took one after getting my positive test result and that was perfectly clear, not a faint line or anything.”

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, spoke with Teesside Live about her confusing situation, to get her story out into the open in case anyone else thinks of it.

The UK health authority stated that PCR testing and lateral flow testing play different roles in controlling Covid and that PCR testing is more sensitive.

The woman said, “I went about my business as usual during the run-up to Christmas, visited York with my two sons last Monday, had a small gathering at my home on Tuesday, and did my grocery shopping on Wednesday.

“I had no cause for concern until early Christmas Eve afternoon when I was visiting family. I started having a slight cough and a slight sore throat, but nothing unusual.”

Out of caution and because two old aunts were at the meeting, she did a lateral flow test, which came back completely clear.

On Boxing Day, the woman described feeling “rough” and “exhausted” but thought this was due to fatigue and her preoccupation with cooking Christmas dinner for her family.

The Hartlepool mother started feeling “much brighter” on Boxing Day morning and continued to make sideways currents that were still negative.

Since her cousin had attended the Christmas party on the weekend and tested positive for Covid, she booked as a precautionary measure for a PCR test on Monday, December 27th.

She received her result on Tuesday, a positive test.

Now in isolation, the woman stated that she “felt really paranoid” if she infected any of her family members, including her older parents and sons aged 11 and 13.

She will continue to perform testing throughout her isolation as new government guidelines allow her to end self-isolation early if she creates negative lateral flow on days six and seven since symptoms began to appear or her PCR was obtained positive.

A spokesman for the UK health authority that controls Covid tests said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.”

They added some background on lateral flow (LFT) and PCR testing: “PCR testing and LFTs play different roles in controlling the virus, so it is not helpful to directly compare them for sensitivity.

“LFTs are useful for finding out if a person is now infectious and can transmit the virus to others. The sensitivity is high enough to detect most of these cases. LFTs are less likely to give a positive result outside of the infection window. “

“PCR testing is useful to confirm a suspected COVID-19 case where the person is already self-isolating and showing symptoms. The higher sensitivity of PCR tests makes it possible to identify genetic material from COVID-19 even after active infection. “Passed.”

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