The disturbing tales are popping up everywhere these days. Stories of folks having what they’re convinced are COVID-19 symptoms, but their rapid COVID tests come up negative.
They’re being posted on Facebook. And they’re popping up on Twitter and TikTok. Heck, if you’re like me, you’ve even had a few texted to you from friends and loved ones.
And these stories all seem to follow the same general pattern. “I feel awful, but my rapid COVID tests are all negative.” Followed by, “I guess it’s just a cold.”
Except, here’s the thing. It might not be a cold after all. Because a new report exposes an uncomfortable truth about the rapid COVID tests that most people are using these days.
It’s something the media won’t talk about… yet. And the government hasn’t mentioned it despite a growing stack of data.
The truth is those home test kits could FAIL. Worst of all… there might even be people in positions of power who WANT it that way.
Rapid COVID tests in the age of the variants
Just a few months ago, no one could even find rapid COVID tests. And the online market was flooded with overpriced fakes.
Now, they’re everywhere. And many people have a stash of them at home.
But a new report shows how you might not want to rely on their results as much as you’d like. Because as the variants increase, the accuracy of those rapid COVID tests might decrease.
Researchers from Harvard found that while the molecular tests done by professionals remain accurate, the at-home tests aren’t always great with some of the variants.
Three of four commercial rapid COVID tests in the study had a tough time with the Delta variant. That would have a real-world impact of missing about 20 percent of cases.
On the flip side, they were pretty good at picking up Omicron. So just as they can get worse at correctly detecting the virus, they can also get better again. It depends on the variant.
But that also means their reliability is a little suspect right now.
Now don’t misunderstand me. This doesn’t mean that rapid COVID tests are useless. And it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still use them. They can still be an invaluable tool.
But it DOES mean that you shouldn’t take a negative test to mean you definitely don’t have COVID-19. Because you could still be carrying the COVID-19 infection and potentially spread it to friends and loved ones without even realizing it.
When you’re sick but have a NEGATIVE home test
I’m not one for conspiracy theories or tin foil hats. But I can’t help but wonder if there’s a reason no one in power… or in the halls of conventional medicine… is talking much about the rapid COVID test problem.
Folks are returning to normal activities without taking precautions. But meanwhile, many PCR testing sites are shutting down. And molecular testing has fallen off across the board without a peep from the powers that be.
It’s as if they’d rather you not know if you’ve truly had COVID-19.
The death risk from the coronavirus seems to be shrinking at the moment, which is fantastic. But with infection (and reinfection) rates starting to climb again, our odds of developing long COVID are going up too.
Healthcare providers, insurers, and HMOs are just starting to see the first hints of the looming tidal wave of patients who need long-term treatments. And when that wave comes crashing down, it threatens to overwhelm those systems.
But here’s the thing. If you don’t have proof of an infection, those medical institutions and the government may one day be able to DENY you that care.
So here’s my advice. If you even suspect you have COVID-19, but your rapid COVID tests appear negative, take two actions.
First, isolate as much as possible while you’re symptomatic anyway. This could help protect friends and loved ones just in case it’s a false negative. Plus, go ahead and mask whenever other folks HAVE to be near you. Because even if it is just a cold or flu, why spread it?
And second, go ahead and get a PCR test. That way, you have official documentation if it turns out to be an actual COVID-19 infection. This could protect you if you develop long COVID and need follow-up or long-term care as a result.
For more on the threat of long COVID, see my earlier report, “What they won’t admit about long COVID.”
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