June 13, 2021


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Over-the-counter self-exams: Watch out for fake news

The High Health Authority (HAS) authorizes to market the test as long as it is 80% effective. This did not prevent FakesIt’s the jokes about the tests not being able to go viral on social media.

Self-tests for Covid-19 have been available over the counter since April 12. To get it, you just have to go to the pharmacy. They are provided in boxes of five at a price of € 30 – or € 6 per test. They will allow you to test yourself without leaving your home. Everything is explained in the leaflet that accompanies the test box. The process is roughly identical to that of the antigen test: with the nasal sampling system, not the nasopharyngeal test. The result appears in fifteen minutes. If it is positive, it will need to be confirmed with a laboratory PCR test.

Read also Self-tests available in pharmacies: When should they be used?

The efficiency and reliability of these tests are approved. The High Health Authority (HAS) authorizes to market the test as long as it is 80% effective. This did not prevent Fakes, Even jokes, about the inefficiency of the tests being generated on social networks. One of those that caused the most ink to flow began in January 2021. It is the positive Coca-Cola test. Then a pharmacist wanted to show that the soft drink makes the antigen test positive. It was not lacking. The pharmacist’s statement has been verified. This phenomenon has spread widely. The scene was filmed and then broadcasted on the Internet. It has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and has been picked up by many networks, including some with conspiratorial tendencies such as QAnon – an extreme right-wing movement from the United States.

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♬ Ibn Al-Asl – Malyabi ab

France 3 Paris Île-de-France took part in the exercise. We got a box of self-tests at the pharmacy and poured Coca-Cola into the tube and then into the drip tray. Result: Of the five tests, only one is positive (clear). Two others shyly reflect the second trait, synonymous with test positivity.

The (obvious) positive Coca-Cola test is at the top of the image. The next trait shyly appears the second trait, synonymous with positivity. The next two are negative. Image credit: Elie Sikali.

Do not doubt the effectiveness of these tests

The test is defective. The conditions of the normal test are not met to obtain the best result. PH – acidity – 2.5. The acidity breaks down the reagents on the test strip and may cause staining. Ultimately, it’s just a chemical reaction.

According to the pharmacist in question, this was a joke. “We were messing around with friendsHe confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the aim was specifically to intimidate them. “The patients“Those who believe in this theory.”I saw there were conspiratorial things that took over my video, things that I fought and now I’m the bearer of their flag, it’s horrible.He added to himself, “Completely overwhelmedConsequently, Coca-Cola users are not necessarily positive, as the tests are done in the nose and not in the digestive system.

Health professionals reaffirm the effectiveness of self-exams and their need for a way out of a health crisis. “The tests sold today as a self-test are the same ones that pharmacists do. The technology is exactly the same: it’s a “side flow”. Most of the tests sold have a sensitivity rate of over 95% compared to PCR.Note: The lateral flush technique is used in pregnancy tests.

Self-tests are as effective as PCR during infection [les quelques jours qui suivent le début des symptômes, ndlr]. They are instant and cost much lessIn particular, he adds, these tests are “the key“To allow to return to”Normal life“And reopen”French society“.

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