An NHS doctor has explained how tap water and other products such as carbonated drinks and fruit juice can give false positive lateral flow antigen test results.
Conspiracy theorists have used these findings to argue that the pandemic that started in the UK in March 2020 is a hoax or that there are fewer cases than are being reported.
False positive results can appear if the person performs the antigen test incorrectly, which NHS explained doctor Karan Rangarajan.
Dr. Rangarajan, known as Dr. Rajan is known Tick tockShe recently showed why this is so in the app after being asked by a follower.
In a clip that has been viewed more than six million times, Dr. Rangarajan, who regularly debunks health myths on TikTok, could be seen splashing tap water on the antigen test before getting a positive result.
“First we need to look inside the lateral flow device,” he said, before lifting the front case off the test. “This gray box and the part just above it contain antibodies that are sensitive to the COVID-19 virus.
“If you use things like soda, tap water, and fizzy drinks, it creates an altered pH that interferes with how the antibodies on the test line work.
“That’s why you need to use this buffer solution (consisting of 99.7 percent saline) that provides a stable pH for the test to actually work with.”
His statement was also backed by the American Society for Microbiology in November, which confirmed that “a team of Canadian researchers has shown that rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 only work when the manufacturer’s instructions are followed.”
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