health

Just how accurate are rapid antigen tests?

7 Comments
By Nathaniel Hafer and Apurv Soni

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The mainstream is embarrassingly slow on everything, look at when this video was published on this topic https://youtube.com/watch?v=-u6fbHGWYuc

And that wasn't new information at the time either

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The mainstream is embarrassingly slow on everything, look at when this video was published on this topic

Did you even read the article? it clearly debunks some of the most important premises of the video, specifically when it demonstrates PCR detects infections one or two days before the antigen tests, and when it mentions how even serial rapid tests reach only 80% of the detection rates from the PCR.

Rapid tests have their role, specially when molecular tests are not available, but they do not replace them nor they would be a solution to end isolation, if anything it would be the opposite, letting 1 fifth of the actual positive people to act as if they were not infected is bad enough, but even those that end up being positive can potentially be spreading the infection for one or two days before becoming positive to antigen tests.

If for any reason PCR tests are not available easily then rapid tests (and specially repeated rapid tests) are much better than not testing, but they are limited because of their lower sensitivity.

Our initial analysis of data from the Michigan study described above shows that 98% of individuals agreed to send test results to their state health department. But just about 1 in 3 participants at highest risk of infection – for example, those who didn’t mask in public and weren’t vaccinated – sent in their results. 

Unfortunately this is well expected, people that focus only on their own interests and take pride on disregarding anything that benefits their community instead of them personally are obviously less likely to cooperate informing about their results. After all once they get the benefit from the test why bother? It is the same reason for choosing not to vaccinate and wear masks, as long as they can benefit personally from the efforts of others then they see no need for doing anything themselves.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The accuracy of antigen test depends on how deep you go up your nostril to collect samples.

Most people don't dare to go all the way in and swap for 30 seconds.

If you follow the sample collection rule, then the accuracy would be in 93% range for positivity and 99% for negativity. This is why professional antigen tests are more accurate than self-collected test, as professional collectors tend to go "all the way in".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The right questions should have been... "why is it even necessary?"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The accuracy of antigen test depends on how deep you go up your nostril to collect samples.

Most people don't dare to go all the way in and swap for 30 seconds.

Not all antigen tests use nasal swabs. I have Japanese antigen tests that use saliva. I used one when I had a sore throat a few months ago. I tested negative. I realized a few days later I contracted the sore throat from breathing in dust from deep cleaning my apartment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 But just about 1 in 3 participants at highest risk of infection – for example, those who didn’t mask in public and weren’t vaccinated – sent in their results. 

And this shows that when people are screaming that China isn't reporting accurate numbers, the US is in fact not reporting accurate numbers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And this shows that when people are screaming that China isn't reporting accurate numbers, the US is in fact not reporting accurate numbers

There is a huge difference between hiding information that the government has (as in China) and not being able to collect information in the first place (like the article describes).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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