The result is interesting: the self-test was explicitly recommended – also in our country – as a test for people who, for example, visited friends or went to work. “But based on these results, I think we have to conclude that many of the people who were negative according to the test were actually false negative and therefore actually positive,” says study leader Karl Munz of the University Medical Center in Utrecht. “About three-quarters of the injuries were lost.”
However, it is too early to stop using the test altogether, emphasizes medical microbiologist Jan Kloetmans, also involved in the research. After all, scientists rely on a small number of cases. “We urgently need to investigate this further,” Kloetmans says. “What we are seeing is not good. But above all, it is a reason for further research into this matter.”
It is also impossible to determine to what extent the self-examinations that people have taken so far have been in vain. “This is biology, things change,” Kloitmans says. “We’re dealing with a different kind of virus, and the people themselves are different: most people have now been vaccinated.” This could make a difference in self-testing, he suggests: Those who have been vaccinated and still have coronavirus may often skip the asymptomatic phase.
In the research, little has remained of the saliva test, which was hailed a year ago as a promising testing technique for children or the disabled. However, the saliva test in Hangzhou still appears to be missing about half of the infections in those with symptoms of corona. Mons says this makes the saliva test “not reliable enough,” even with symptoms.
A nose test by Roche detected 70 percent of true coronavirus infections in people with symptoms, and up to 85 percent of contagious cases (with lots of virus in the throat). This isn’t as good as the always-correct result of the test center’s “official” cotton swab test, the “PCR test,” but it’s perfectly usable in daily practice, the team judges.
If you do not have symptoms but still want to know if you have corona, it is still a good idea to do a self-test for the Moons. “If you are positive according to the test, you can rest assured that you really are. But if you test negative, keep in mind that the result may not be correct.”
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