Now WHO admits ‘gold standard’ COVID test is unreliable
High rate of false-positives has driven public policy
he World Health Organization has officially acknowledged that the “gold standard” test used to diagnose COVID-19 has a high rate of false-positives that make it unreliable.
In an advisory to lab workers issued Jan. 13, the WHO recommends a second test to confirm any diagnosis for people who aren’t showing any symptoms of the disease.
“Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken,” the guidance says.
The WHO warns that most PCR tests “are indicated as an aid for diagnosis,” meaning health care providers should consider at least seven other factors to confirm any test.
Health care providers, the guidance says, “must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, [test] specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information.”
A study released last April by reseachers from Cornell University and the University of Hawaii found the “evidence shows that false positive PCR results are common enough to impact clinical and policy deci…