Are COVID rapid tests still reliable with new sub-variants on the rise? What experts say – GLOBAL

October 23, 2022

As new COVID-19 sub-variants move across Canada, experts say rapid tests can still be considered an adequate tool to detect the virus – even if they are not perfect all the time.

“These tiny, tiny changes in sub-variants matter a lot in terms of the biological activity of the virus and its ability to escape our immune system, but rapid antigen tests aren’t nearly so easily fooled,” Colin Furness, infections control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s faculty of information, told Global News.

Rapid tests do have a tougher time recognizing specific spikes COVID-19 sub-variants create, but they’re still able to identify the virus itself, Furness explained. However, there are things to keep in mind in order to get an accurate result.

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