Authorities advise against quick COVID-19 test when showing symptoms

Quick corona tests have proven to be far less reliable than those offered by public health services

People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not take the quick version of the test, according to new advice from the health authority, Sundhedsstyrelsen.

The antigen test can provide a result in just 15-30 minutes, but is considerably less reliable than other forms of testing.

The quicker tests were shown to give an incorrect result in 50 percent of cases, meaning people who take the test after displaying symptoms may get a negative result – even though they may be carrying the virus.

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False results could have a big impact
“This could have quite serious consequences for the virus infection rate and our level of control during the pandemic” said Helene Probst, the deputy head of Sundhedsstyrelsen.

The antigen test is currently offered by pharmacies and private companies such as Falck for as much as 299 kroner and is readily available to the public.

But while tests offered by the public health service generally take a day or two to return a result, the question remains whether private suppliers can continue to offer fast testing when results appear to be dangerously unreliable.