How accurate is coronavirus testing? Dr. Saphier answers


Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the last several weeks, reaching more than 11 million cases nationwide.

As Americans see rising numbers, Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier broke down the accuracy of available coronavirus testing on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”

Recently, more patients have reported testing to be inaccurate, including figures from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who tweeted Friday that after taking four tests for COVID-19, two were negative and two came back positive.

Saphier explained these inaccuracies occur mostly from rapid testing – an antigen test screening for virus proteins – since they could have a false negative rate of up to 50%.

“It’s far more likely to have a false negative of that antigen test than it is to have a false positive,” she explained.

MUSK SAYS TOOK FOUR COVID-19 TESTS; TWO WERE POSITIVE, TWO NEGATIVE

As a rapid test backup, Dr. Saphier urged any patient testing positive to also undergo a PCR test – which screens for genetic virus material and takes several days for results develop.

“If the PCR test comes back positive, chances are you have the coronavirus,” she said. “And whether or not you have symptoms doesn’t really matter because we know that there is a high amount of asymptomatic individuals who are still transmitting the virus.”

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Saphier mentioned that the FDA has released a statement to physicians and lab technicians warning of an increase in rapid test false positives being reported.



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