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False negatives: how accurate are PCR tests for COVID-19?

Written by Jenny Straiton (Assistant Editor)

New research calls into question the accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests as the chance of receiving a false negative COVID-19 test could be greater than 1 in 5. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread and the importance of testing was proven, attention was on PCR as institutions all over the world developed new diagnostic tests for detecting SARS-CoV-2. Researchers and clinicians around the globe have been using the RT-PCR technique to find out whether a person has been infected. These tests have played a vital role in many countries’ response to the disease by allowing epidemiologists to better track the spread...

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