Quick tests show value for stopping COVID’s spread, says an article on Nature.
Less effective than PCR test
Rapid coronavirus tests performed by hand-held test kits called antigen lateral-flow devices could bolster test-and-trace programs. But such tests are less effective at detecting infections than are slower, gold-standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Study conducted to analyze transmission
David Eyre and Tim Peto at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK, and their colleagues analyzed testing and contract-tracing data collected in England. The study included data from about one million people with positive coronavirus PCR tests. Also the results of PCR tests from about 2.5 million other people who had come into contact with them.
What the study says
People with higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 in their bodies tended to be more infectious than people with lower levels. The team used data on the performance of lateral-flow devices to estimate that the most sensitive rapid tests could have detected nearly 90% of cases that led to an infected contact.
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