Lateral flow tests (LFTs) are an increasing part of our everyday lives. But for some individuals, a persistent clash with their PCR test results is undermining their confidence in the system.
The Guardian has been contacted by hundreds of people who have repeatedly tested positive on lateral flow devices (LFDs), but whose confirmatory PCR tests have been relentlessly negative.
Amy Lewis’s son Josh, nine, has tested positive on LFTs six times in the past eight months. “The biggest implication was that we were supposed to go to Guernsey to see my family for Christmas, but we decided not to go, because [of the testing requirements]. We couldn’t put Josh through the emotional upheaval of that,” said Lewis, from Bristol. “What has been frustrating is the lack of recognition that this is an issue, or that it might be possible.”
Anna Brading of Reading received a warning from her son’s headteacher, because he had missed so much school as a result of having to self-isolate. “We have no way of telling when he actually gets Covid and I have vulnerable family members that we want to see,” she said.
Barbara Mann, 35, of Monmouth, believes her LFTs may be detecting some other virus. “There are always two lines, sometimes the second is faint, sometimes strong,” she said. “It seems to depend if I’m feeling under the weather or not.”
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