The Lateral Flow test is an easy and affordable way to test for covid from the comfort of one’s own home. It provides people with the ease of testing at their convenience without waiting for days to get their results. But is the Lateral flow Test as credible as it seems?
What’s the Verdict on LFT’s accuracy?
During the pandemic, the Lateral Flow Test (LFT) has been a blessing for easy testing and sifting through infected and uninfected patients, says Economist. First, it provides an easy way of testing that can be done easily by anyone, increasing testing rates. According to doctors, many Covid patients are asymptomatic, meaning they show no signs of infection. Lateral Flow Tests help find these kinds of cases and avoid the spread of the virus.
While this technology is deemed favourable by some medical professionals, others have different opinions. Since it is not as sensitive as PCR tests performed in the labs, doctors and researchers believed it was a waste of precious funds. In addition, professionals also believe the public was misled about the test’s reactiveness to the virus, which increased the chances of getting a false-negative result.
Is it Recommended as a Primary Choice for Covid Testing?
The science is simple. The lateral flow test comes behind the PCR test for almost all testing criteria. However, LFTs still provides an excellent testing method to people who don’t show any Covid symptoms. Other than that, the test is pretty simple to perform as well. Almost anyone can do it without any help from a professional, unlike the PCR test.
Doctors are, by no way, discouraging the use of the Lateral Flow Tests altogether. On the contrary, it is still a valuable weapon in the war against Covid, but it has its limitations. That’s why they stress that everyone must take precautions, regardless of the type of test.
If you are in London in the UK, you can now get a lateral flow test in Croydon that will allow you to received a test kit that can be used at home.
Do World Health Bodies Authorize lateral Flow Tests?
Lateral Flow Tests fall short of the minimum criteria that have been set by organisations such as WHO, which casts a shadow of doubt on its efficiency in testing accurately. During studies, it was found that Lateral Flow Tests show varying results in adults but are also deemed less effective when trying on children for Covid. In comparison to the PCR tests, the fluctuation and discrepancies in the test results helped conclude that Lateral Flow Test is good but probably not the best option.
Due to recent studies and the claim made by WHO, both US and UK divisions, that LFTs do not meet their criteria for accurate covid testing, it is still unsure which side of the spectrum this test lies on. For now, it is safe to say that Lateral Flow Tests are a helpful tool for quick testing when there is a time crunch, but it is better to be safe and follow up with a PCR than to rely on an LFT solely.