COVID-19 negative report false hopes experts

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Should one completely rely on a negative COVID-19 report? Of late, many have argued that one should not solely depend on a negative report or treat it as ticket to venture out of houses. Scientists are of the view that there is no guarantee that a negative report will be safe, a report in the HT said. It creates “false hope”, they say.

According to sicentists, it is advisable that a person who has been exposed to Sars-CoV-2 should still follow the mandated guidelines as a precautionary measure. “You should not rely on test results alone to safely socialise in person. A test can only tell you if you are positive at a given moment in time, and can also fail to detect cases if you are infected but not shedding substantial virus,” Dr Angela Rasmussen, a virologist affiliated with Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.

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Experts believe that a test result could fail to detect the presence of the virus in the body if the exposed person is tested shortly after getting infected. They say that the virus needs to reproduce enough copies of itself for it to be detected in the COVID-19 tests. The incubation period for COVID-19 is up to 14 days. Before that, a person can test negative and have no symptoms at all. So don’t go out yet. 

Experts also see a possibility of a person contracting the virus after getting the test done. They deem it advisable for the exposed person to stay under quarantine for at least a week after exposure to the virus. 

The report said that there was also a high chance of getting a false negative report with a rapid antigen test.

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