The UK has been testing at record numbers while Omicron is devastating the country, with many having regularly conducted lateral flow tests over the past few weeks to spend Christmas with loved ones.
However, there is still confusion about how to read the results of your lateral flow test (LFT) and what to do based on the result.
Now a doctor has shared how to tell if a faint line in the test could be a sign of a false positive Covid result, reports Glasgow Live.
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Instagram user @expedition_doctor, a London-based medical professional, shared a picture of a lateral flow test with a barely noticeable positive line.
Nathan told Instagram users that when that ‘positive’ line appears after the 30-minute window in which testers should wait for a result, it is not considered a positive test.
The line could have been caused by very weak contaminants like food or beverages rather than the coronavirus, Nathan says.
He added that if a line appears before the end of the interpretation window – which is usually 30 minutes – it is a positive test and you need to isolate yourself and book a PCR test.
Nathan wrote, “If the weak positive line appears after the time window, the most likely cause is either contamination (e.g. eating or drinking or some other very weak contamination causing a false positive) or there are just incredibly low levels of the virus.
“If the latter is the case, and assuming, of course, that you are asymptomatic at the time, then it is very unlikely that you are at risk of transmission anyway, and so it is of little concern.
“The most sensible next step, in my opinion, is therefore not to isolate unnecessarily (bad for mental health and work, etc.) and not to book a PCR (makes it difficult for people who really need it), but with precautionary measures (social distancing, Hand washing and wearing masks) to be extra careful and continue testing with LFTs according to NHS guidelines.
He added, “Covid close contacts should conduct daily LFTs for seven days if both asymptomatic and fully vaccinated or asymptomatic and 18 or younger.
“If there is no close contact, do an LFT before you mix with people indoors and before visiting someone who is at higher risk of developing seriously Covid.
“Finally, please remember that you should isolate and book a PCR if you have symptoms, even if the LFT is negative.”
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