June 1, 2023

Covid-19: Are Self-Tests Reliable?

DECRYPTION – Since December 28, the self-tests can be sold in supermarkets. But can they really replace a PCR or antigen test after risky contact?

They are faster, more convenient, and less painful than PCR tests: nasal self-tests are now a key asset in the government’s strategy to fight the epidemic. Especially at school: according to the new protocol unveiled on Sunday by the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, if a case of Covid-19 is detected in a class, all the students will have to carry out two self-tests on D + 2 and D + 4 after the first test, PCR or antigen on D0. They are also popular with the rest of the population: 1.2 million home samples were taken by the French in the days leading up to Christmas, according to Olivier Véran. They are now found in supermarkets for a price between 2 and 5 euros per unit. But are they really reliable?

According to the Haute Autorité de santé, the antigenic tests to be carried out oneself detect the presence of virus in a sick person in 80% of cases. In other words, the remaining 20% ​​are “false negatives” …

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