Wednesday, May 25

Covid screening under barnums: false positives due to the cold?

What if barnums, the small tents often located in front of pharmacies, distorted the results of tests against Covid? According to some analyses, antigen tests can produce false positives if they are stored or carried out at too low temperatures.

As Gilles Bonnefond, spokesperson for the Union of Community Pharmacists (USPO), reminds our colleagues at Parisian, antigenic tests cannot be stored in the cold. “The manual indicates a temperature range of between 2 and 30°C,” he explains.

Indeed, “if the tests have been frozen, it completely degrades the silica matrix”. A situation to which barnums are often exposed, even more so in this cold period.

Faced with this risk of false positive cases, some practitioners, installed in front of pharmacies, sometimes in collaboration with the latter, have decided to cease their activity.

A problematic rule change

This error may prove to be permanent for some people who test positive. Indeed, since January 24, it is no longer mandatory to confirm a positive antigen test by a PCR test.

On the other hand, if a self-test, at the heart of the government strategy, turns out to be positive, it is essential to do a PCR to validate, or not, the result.

This Wednesday, 428,008 French people were infected with Covid-19. While 255 people lost their lives, bringing the total death toll to 129,747 since the start of the epidemic.

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