Covid, Italy: 'Omicron eludes rapid swabs, 1 in 2 are false negatives'
Covid swabs: ‘With the omicron variant set to become predominant, rapid antigen swabs risk becoming useless. The new version of the Sars-CoV-2 virus seems to be able to escape the most frequently used diagnostic tests today”
This was explained by Guido Rasi, consultant to the commissioner for the Covid emergency in Italy, Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, and scientific director of Consulcesi.
Covid swabs for Omicron variant: essential to monitor virus evolution
“Now more than ever,’ continues Rasi, ‘it is essential that health workers continue to keep up to date with the evolution of the virus and our knowledge in both the diagnostic and therapeutic fields.
The Food and Drug Administration (Fda) has also pointed out that rapid antigenic swabs are not very sensitive and therefore unreliable in detecting the omicron variant
“Preliminary data indicate that about 40% of people who are positive for the omicron variant may test negative in rapid tests, almost 1 in 2,’ says Rasi.
The ‘loss’ of reliability of rapid antigen tests, therefore, could make this more complicated and difficult.
“I hope that up-to-date and reliable rapid tests for omicron will soon be available, but in the meantime we need to be on our guard,’ Rasi adds.
In this context, the role of healthcare professionals will be even more central in assessing patients’.
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