COVID-19: Rapid Lateral Flow Tests 95% Effective at Detecting COVID when used at the onset of symptoms, study shows UK News


Rapid lateral flow tests are 95% effective at detecting coronavirus when used at the onset of infection or as soon as symptoms start, suggests a new study.

Scientists have previously said that lateral flow tests (LFTs) are less sensitive when ingesting COVID-19 Falls as laboratory-tested PCR smears.

But a study of more than 2,500 people with flu-like symptoms showed that LFT was 95% of the time Coronavirus Cases that did the PCR tests.

It also identified 89% of the COVID Cases as negative.

LFTs work like pregnancy tests, looking for coronavirus proteins to detect cases, and only last 30 minutes.

PCR tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction) are tested in the laboratory and can take up to three days to complete.

The study, carried out by experts from Queen Mary University of London, Oxford University, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna and the Medical University of Graz, compares the two test forms for the first time in a group of this size.

The patients involved in the study were examined by general practitioners in Liezen, Austria.

The results were consistent across different brands of test kits, three different laboratories and tests, and 20 primary care practices.

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The author of the study, Dr. Werner Leber of Queen Mary said, “Previous studies have shown that lateral flow tests can be less sensitive than PCR in detecting COVID-19, especially in asymptomatic individuals and in the early or late stages of infection when the viral load is up the lowest.

“But we found that the two test methods have a similar level of accuracy in patients who are newly symptomatic.”

Dr. Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths from the Big Data Institute at Oxford University added: “In our study, both shorter symptom duration and higher viral load were significantly associated with positive lateral flow tests.

“This underscores the need to test with lateral flow tests for early infection and shows that the two test methods have a similar level of accuracy in patients who are newly symptomatic.”

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