A public health chief has warned anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms but has tested negative to still self-isolate.
Doctors have reported that there has been an increase in the number of patients who received positive lateral flow tests but received negative PCR results.
The UK health authority has now reminded the UK that PCR lateral flow tests are far more accurate than lateral flow tests, which are currently available for free from the NHS.
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The phenomenon is particularly widespread in the south-west of England.
Becky Reynolds, director of public health for Bath and North East Somerset Council, said. “It is confusing [for people]. I think we’ll just have to endure it while the investigation is in progress. “
“The advice is also to think about your local situation, to carry out an individual risk assessment … so how high is the probability that you still have Covid despite negative PCR?
“If you think about it, there is quite a chance that you have Covid, even if the PCR is negative, then consider it Covid and isolate yourself.”
The UK health authority is investigating the cause, but has confirmed that there is currently no evidence of technical problems with lateral flow or PCR test kits.
But dr. Lucy Pocock, a family doctor for Cadbury Heath Healthcare in South Gloucestershire, said BBC : “I and my colleagues have seen a stream of patients with Covid symptoms that are very typical for us.
“Several of these patients performed multiple lateral flow tests, all positive, and then rightly performed a PCR test that turned out negative.
“The worrying thing here is that these people are all clearly symptomatic and have a very unexpected negative PCR result.”
The Mirror reports that Kit Yates, a member of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies [SAGE], called for the situation to be examined “seriously and quickly”.
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