New Research Confirms Rapid Home COVID Antigen Tests Are Flawed

by | Mar 9, 2022 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Many millions of these rapid antigen tests at the cost of billions of dollars are now in most homes. The federal government and many local organizations have been making them available without charge. But newly published research from the UK sheds a very dark shadow on their usefulness. The initial hope was that making rapid home tests widely available would help curb COVID transmission. Some officials probably thought they would motivate more people to get COVID vaccine shots if people tested positive.

The other perhaps bigger hope was that if people tested negative, they could feel safe that they did not have COVID infection and could lead normal lives. They would not be transmitting the virus. This was especially the hope if people did not have symptoms. They would be home-free. And with lots of free home test kits widely available, people could test frequently to keep feeling safe for themselves and others.

Now, with the UK research, that bubble has burst.

Here are the key findings of the research.

Somewhere between 20% and 80% of the tests would be false negatives. That means that in those cases, people really were infected with the COVID virus. Many of these people might even have some symptoms. But if they get a negative test result, then they believe they are not infected. Then the key question is whether they will transmit the virus and infect others and, possibly, become seriously ill.

On the other hand, if the home test is positive, then the probability is very high that the result is correct. Positive test results are true positives, but negative results are likely incorrect. That is a very disappointing truth.

If people get a positive result, they can get a PCR test to confirm and then seek medical attention.

But if people get a negative home test result, then they are unlikely to get a more accurate PCR test.

The core science issue is that the home tests may not respond accurately to relatively low viral loads, while the PCR test is much more sensitive and able to detect low viral loads.

The truth is that even low viral loads can still produce transmission and may lead to severe symptoms. In other words, the hope that the simple and fast home tests could confidently rule out COVID disease has been dashed by the new research. This is especially important for relatively high numbers of asymptomatic infected people.

Here is the truth that the public needs to hear from the public health system. If the home test is positive, it definitely is an accurate test. But if it’s negative, and you’re still concerned, then you need to follow up with a PCR test. Here is the ugly scenario now that millions of these home tests have been distributed: — If people routinely test two or three or four times a week and get negative results and they’re asymptomatic, then the whole scheme is a waste of time. Viral transmission may still be occurring. And those billions of dollars spent on home test kits have been an enormous waste of money as well.

The new study noted: “Allowing for the uncertainties in the results from our analyses, the proportion of people with current infection missed by the [home tests] is likely to be of public health importance, particularly in settings with greater proportions of infectious people with lower viral loads; where the tests are often being applied…. negative test results from [home tests] cannot be relied on to exclude current infection. Policymakers need to ensure that the public are aware of the risk of being infectious despite testing negative, and that tests are not used in situations where the consequences of false-negative results are considerable.”

Here is the dilemma for people. If you do get a positive home test result, what do you do? Do you try and get a fast PCR test somewhere and perhaps get the new Pfizer pills fast enough, within a few days of initial symptoms? Or do you use one of the successful protocols long used by a number of physicians that include ivermectin?

And after spending billions of dollars on these home test kits, do you think our government will now tell the truth about them?

The research article was deemed so important that the same prestigious medical journal also published a companion article commenting critically on the unnerving results from a policy and political perspective. Here are some of the key comments.

“The popularity of testing for asymptomatic people among the public has seldom borne much relationship to actual utility of the test.”

“When rapid antigen tests were introduced, we were promised they would ‘identify those who are likely to spread the disease, and when used systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90%.’ Yet despite the UK spending more than £7bn [over $9 billion] on [home tests] since mid-2020, the lack of hard evidence on this promised impact is striking.”

“International comparisons are complex and influenced by many factors, but Japan, which has actively limited widespread self-testing, has a covid-19 death rate an order of magnitude less than that of the UK, Germany, where testing of asymptomatic people has been a feature, and the USA.”

“When the high cost to low benefit ratio is pointed out, we are told that more screening is needed, or that the tests are ‘transformational’ and ‘a part of daily life.’  Everyday use of tests may indeed be transformational for those with a stake in the testing industry, but the financial burden is borne by taxpayers.”

“Messages to the public about the reliability of these tests, and about whether, when, and how to self-test are mixed and ever-changing.”

“Surely, it is time to start afresh. Publication of this new paper should prompt the [government] to reassess its authorizations of rapid antigen tests in asymptomatic people. The public deserves to have better evaluations, ensuring good test performance in real-life settings, and a policy that specifies effective and efficient test use for carefully targeted purposes.”

Now that you know the truth, your use of home test kits can become smarter and more useful.

Dr. Joel S. Hirschhorn

Dr. Joel S. Hirschhorn, author of Pandemic Blunder and many articles and podcasts on the pandemic, worked on health issues for decades, and his Pandemic Blunder Newsletter is on Substack. As a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he directed a medical research program between the colleges of engineering and medicine.

Dr. Hirschhorn worked on public policy for the US Congress for many years. As a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association, he directed major studies on health-related subjects; he testified at over 50 US Senate and House hearings and authored hundreds of articles and op-ed articles in major newspapers. He has served as an executive volunteer at a major hospital for more than 10 years. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and America’s Frontline Doctors.

Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and save 15%
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for educational, general information, and entertainment purposes only and is never intended to constitute medical or legal advice or to replace the personalized care of a primary care practitioner or legal expert.

While we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, the information provided by America Out Loud, its website(s), and any properties (including its radio shows and podcasts) makes no representations, or warranties of any kind, expressed, or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to its website(s) or the information, products, services or related graphics and images contained on the website(s) for any purpose.

The opinions expressed on the website(s), and the opinions expressed on the radio shows and podcasts, are the opinions of the show hosts and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs, or policies of anyone or any entity we may endorse. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

At no time, nor in any event, will we be liable for any loss, or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss of data or profits arising out of, in an association of, or connection with the use of this website.

Through this website, users can link to other websites that may be listed. Those websites are not under the control of America Out Loud or its brands. We have no control over the nature, content, or availability of those sites. America Out Loud has no control over what the sites do with the information they collect. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation, nor does it endorse the views expressed with or by them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, America Out Loud takes no responsibility for, nor are we, and will not be liable for being temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties beyond our control. America Out Loud does not sell, trade, nor market email addresses or other personal data.

Exposing Russia as a Military Fraud, Is China Next?

Exposing Russia as a Military Fraud, Is China Next?

If we had looked closely in those intervening years, we could have seen the clues of their demise. Many in my field (CE/CI) did, but the world had changed. Politicians facing the prospective loss of political control through fear-mongering of something ⏤ Russia then and China now ⏤ limited any real responses that could have achieved a safe world with Russia in it…

Take a Look at the Positive Side of Anarchy

Take a Look at the Positive Side of Anarchy

The only way to achieve liberty and peace is to restore law and order. And the only way to restore law and order is to literally crush the forces of evil. When that begins to happen, we do actually see the positive side of tyranny and anarchy. Conflict is a bedfellow of oppression. Therefore we must end the conflict and, in doing so, end the tyranny. Here’s the positive side of this war…

It’s a LONG-HAUL with COVID-19

It’s a LONG-HAUL with COVID-19

The context is that about 50% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 develop post-COVID symptoms. Severe outpatients also are affected. Characteristic symptoms include headache, hearing loss, tinnitus, loss of olfactory function, sleep disturbance, muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, and chest or abdominal pain…

Be the One.

Be the One.

Be the one — no longer willing to huddle together in the helpless band — the one who dares to join the fight. Another will follow you and then another, and in a flash of time, that bleeding hulk of our nation — once the great light of liberty to the world, now barely flickering — will rise again to throw off the wolves like it has done before, sending them scurrying for safety…

Major Medical Mystery: Why Some People Despite Exposure Don’t Get COVID

Major Medical Mystery: Why Some People Despite Exposure Don’t Get COVID

A small fraction of Americans have escaped COVID infection. CDC uses a figure of 60% for those infected, while the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington says that 76% have been infected. The remainder may have escaped exposure or been exposed but escaped infection. The latter people are the subject of the medical mystery…

Correcting America’s Course Back to the Constitutional Rule of Law

Correcting America’s Course Back to the Constitutional Rule of Law

The US Constitution must scrupulously be followed, especially by the judiciary. It is not for judges to make laws; it is for them to observe and rule on the constitutionality of issues before them. Their oaths, taken upon their confirmations, should include the understanding that their failures to follow judicial protocols would end in their termination…

Does Joe Biden Aspire to be America’s Last President?

Does Joe Biden Aspire to be America’s Last President?

Most ominously, no American administration has ever seemed so entirely unconcerned about hemorrhaging political capital. And that lack of concern about voters’ approval can only mean that this administration no longer believes it relies on political capital (the consent of the governed) for power. We can only assume that this Marxist-aligned administration intends to authorize itself with whatever power it requires to achieve its ends…

Criminal Intimidation Led By Schumer and Pelosi are America’s Domestic Terrorists

Criminal Intimidation Led By Schumer and Pelosi are America’s Domestic Terrorists

The SCOTUS leak was explicitly designed to tip the balance back to Progressivisms demands and rally the Democrat base to intimidate conservatives, political and business leaders by threats of violence because the country is in a Biden mess, one he created in January 2021 to reflect his party’s image as one that clings to the failed philosophy of Marx and Engles…

America Out Loud 6 years

Celebrating 6 incredible years fighting to restore liberty and justice to our beloved America.

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

 

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations. Please consider making a contribution in the fight for liberty!

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP
Healthycell

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

Truth For Health

Apple Podcasts

COVID Solution Summit

Apple Podcasts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

URGENT - KEEP NINE
Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Wounded Blue
Share via
Copy link