HARD TEST Requires a NEW Isolation Rule if you get a positive lateral flow test even though the PCR results are mysterious.
EXPERTS have called for a new self-isolation rule and tougher measures in schools amid a mysterious test investigation.
People tested positive for Covid in lateral flow tests at home, but negative in the so-called “gold standard” PCR tests.
The problem is centered in the south west of England, but there are anecdotal reports from across the country.
The UK Health and Safety Authority (UKHSA) chiefs of health are still investigating the issue and creating mass confusion.
But for now, the official advice remains the same – if a PCR test is negative, you are considered Covid-free and can leave self-isolation.
It has raised fears that people legitimately carrying the coronavirus are spreading it in schools, offices and elsewhere.
People have been warned to self-isolate even if their PCR test is negative, although the government does not.
Dr. Kit Yates, Senior Lecturer in the Department for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath, was the first to point out the growing problem that began in September.
When asked if this is a public health risk, he told The Sun, “Absolutely, I think there is a risk to both public health and our school children.
“We should protect our children, but instead it feels like we’re leaving them.
“Our children’s only line of defense is to make sure infected people isolate themselves and don’t actively bring Covid into class.
“When students come to school infected, this is clearly a higher risk of developing Covid for anyone in this environment. The same applies to people who go to work with the belief that they do not suffer from Covid.
“They potentially increase the risk for their colleagues and enable the further spread of Covid.
“We should encourage everyone who can work from home to continue to do so, and we should definitely reintroduce attenuations in school, such as wearing masks, to curb the spread.”
Dr. Yates added, “Public Health England has issued informal advice suggesting that people should isolate if possible after a positive lateral flow test, although this is not official government guidance.
“I think that’s what people should do if possible.”
However, he acknowledged that people without positive PCR can find it difficult to access financial assistance while in self-isolation or on sick leave.
Prof. Christina Pagel, mathematician and professor of operational research at University College London, said people should “definitely” self-isolate if their home equipment gives a positive result.
“Especially with the high number of cases we’re seeing now,” she told The Sun.
“And if you have symptoms AND test positive for LFD [lateral flow]then you should assume that you have Covid regardless of the PCR test. “
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, also said, “It remains important that if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection and a positive LFT result, regardless of the PCR result, you behave as if you had Covid-19 until we do know what it is continues with this discrepancy. “
Lateral currents have been shown to occasionally mistakenly tell infected people that they are Covid negative, which is referred to as “false negative” – although a study today showed they are more accurate than initially thought.
However, it is very rare for it to give an inaccurate positive result – referred to as a “false positive”.
This suggests that the lateral flow tests are almost always correct when they give a positive result, as Dr. Yates said, “If you get a positive result on a lateral flow test, the chances are overwhelming that you have Covid.”
Some suggested that the lateral flow tests mistook a different type of common winter bug for the coronavirus.
Prof. Young said this was “very unlikely”.