Chaos as public health boss tells Bath residents to self-isolate if they are experiencing COVID symptoms but have tested negative
- A public health boss has warned people with Covid-19 symptoms to self-isolate
- comes after Patients got negative PCR results but positive lateral flow
- PCR tests are far more accurate than lateral flow, which are available for free
- Heterogeneous test results were mainly reported in Bath, Bristol and Swindon
A public health boss has asked people in the south of England to self-isolate if they have Covid-19 symptoms, even though they tested negative in confusing new advice after the country was paralyzed by ‘pingedemic’. have done
It comes after several patients in Bath, Bristol and Swindon tested negative on PCR testing, health experts reveled in after a lateral flow test returned positive results.
PCR tests are far more accurate than lateral flow tests, returning only 2.8 percent of incorrect results, which are available free of charge over the counter.
Becky Reynolds, director of public health for Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: ‘If you think you have a high chance of having COVID, even if the PCR is coming back negative, consider it COVID and self-isolate.
‘The advice is also to think about your local situation, do an individual risk assessment… so what are the chances that even if the PCR is negative, you may still have COVID?’
A public health boss has warned people to self-isolate if they have Covid-19 symptoms, even if they have tested negative, received negative PCR results but positive lateral flow (pictured, a student takes a lateral flow test)
Cases in Bath and North East Somerset per 100,000 population over a period of seven days
What are the current self-isolation rules?
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate:
– high temperature
– a new, persistent cough
– a decrease or change in your sense of smell or taste
You should also self-isolate if:
– You have tested positive for Covid-19
– someone you live with has symptoms or has tested positive
You have been asked to self-isolate after contact with someone who has tested positive
Britain’s health protection agency said the anomalous results were mainly reported in Bath, Bristol and Swindon, adding that it was investigating the issue and did not think technical issues had caused the problem.
Reynolds accepted BBC It was a ‘confused’ situation for people but asked to be patient while checking test discrepancies.
A member of an independent Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) called for a “serious and rapid” investigation.
Meanwhile Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the UK’s Health Protection Agency, urged people to make sure they read test instructions to avoid false readings.
Dr Lucy Pocock, a GP at Cadbury Heath Healthcare in South Gloucestershire, raised concerns over the issue after observing a ‘stream of patients’ who had received negative PCR results but positive lateral flow tests.
She told the BBC: ‘What is worrying here is that all these people are clearly symptomatic and with a very unexpected negative PCR result.’
‘Many of these patients have done multiple lateral flow tests, all are positive, and then went right to do the PCR test, which came back negative.
Medics have raised concerns that people are unknowingly spreading COVID-19 due to testing confusion.
A member of an independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) called for conducting lateral flow screening and PCR testing “seriously and expeditiously”.