Urgent warning to double-check your rapid Covid test: 'BE AWARE'

·3-min read

A closer look at this picture of a rapid antigen test (RAT) is enough to ensure you always double check the result.

COVIDPete, an anonymous father who shares vital Covid-19 information and data online, explained the RAT was the initial one he took.

On Facebook he explained the test was done when he started experiencing symptoms and others around him started to test positive.

The image of the rapid test COVIDPete took looks to be negative at first glance, with one clear line which indicates a negative test.

However, upon closer inspection, a very faint line can be seen, indicating a positive test.

"As you can see the second line of mine is very faint," COVIDPete said.

"You must take that second faint line as a positive test."

The Rapid antigen test was actually positive, the second line was just very faint and a PCR test confirmed a positive result. Source: Facebook/COVIDPete
The Rapid antigen test was actually positive, the second line was just very faint and a PCR test confirmed a positive result. Source: Facebook/COVIDPete

Sure enough, a few days later COVIDPete was confirmed positive after taking a PCR test.

"So if you see the faintest of lines please be aware and cautious of your surroundings," he added.

"This is just like a pregnancy test meaning if there is any line regardless how faint you are probably pregnant/positive," someone remarked on COVIDPete's post.

Several other people in the comments also said they had a faint line on their RAT and if a positive result is shown, you are meant to go line up to get a PCR test.

However, given how faint the line is on COVIDPete's test, it is understandable as to why people are misinterpreting their results.

In COVIDPete's original photo (left) it is very hard to see the line to indicate a positive, but if you play with contrast and colour, in an app, it is slightly. easier to see. Source: COVIDPete/Facebook
In COVIDPete's original photo (left) it is very hard to see the line to indicate a positive, but if you play with contrast and colour, in an app, it is slightly. easier to see. Source: COVIDPete/Facebook

A few people in the comments suggested taking a picture of the rapid test results and manipulating the colours in the photo.

"If you invert the colours on the image you will be able to see the line better," one person wrote.

Another person simply suggested upping the contrast on the photo to make the lines more visible.

Rapid antigen tests have been very hard to come by in Australia. Source: AAP
Rapid antigen tests have been very hard to come by in Australia. Source: AAP

Calls for free rapid tests continue

Covid cases around Australia have exploded in recent weeks, while people wait for hours to get a PCR test and rapid tests are now near impossible to find.

One software engineer from Victoria created a website to help people see where rapid tests are available around Australia.

The website relies on the community reporting where RAT are and where they are out of stock.

It appears findarat.com.au is now also allowing people to report how much RAT are selling for at certain places.

Amid widespread shortages of of rapid tests and price gouging in some places, the federal government is being pressured to make RAT kits free.

People wait in line for a covid test at Robina Health Precinct on January 05, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. Queensland is experiencing record-high COVID-19 cases for the state creating challenges for testing clinics.
Getting your hands on a rapid test, or getting a PCR test has been extremely difficult in several parts of Australia. Source: Getty Images

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese had previously called for the rapid tests to be made affordable for people, but said on Wednesday there was a growing need for the tests to be made free instead.

"It's very clear the simplest way to do it is to make tests free and make them available," he told reporters in Sydney.

"People are crying out for action, the economic consequences of this government's failure to put in place a proper system are there for all to see."

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