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No, you should not ignore instructions on your at-home COVID-19 test

The demand for at-home testing has increased as COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise, prompting debates from social media users.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — With COVID case numbers on the rise, the demand for at-home testing has also increased, prompting social media debates about whether or not you should swab your throat when using at-home rapid tests.

One Facebook user wrote, "Pro Tip –if you're doing a home COVID test, swab your throat, not your nose."

Another user also said, "With the home test kits – swab the back of your throat AND the nose. We are seeing more accurate results this way." 

This may be something that you're seeing on social media, but experts strongly discourage this. 

Our sources: the Food and Drug Administration and the Arkansas Department of Health.

At the end of 2021, the Food and Drug Administration pointed to preliminary research showing some rapid antigen tests may be less sensitive at detecting the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus. 

According to the FDA, "Early data suggests that antigen tests do detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity," which means that the test could miss an infection.

Officials continue to urge people to use tests in the proper way. 

"The FDA continues to authorize the use of these tests as directed in the authorized labeling and individuals should continue to use them in accordance with the instructions included with the tests."

Danyelle McNeill, a spokesperson with ADH echoes this recommendation, saying, "People should follow the instructions that come with the test. Every brand will have differences. Many will require a nose swab only."

So, health experts say this claim is false. You should not ignore or change the instructions on your test. 

This is false.

But, what should you do if you need a highly accurate answer? The FDA recommends getting a PCR test. It takes longer, but it's highly accurate. 

If you have a claim you want VERIFIED, let us help. Email us at verify@thv11.com.

   

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