Rapid COVID-19 test seemingly wrong three times

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – By now, many Kentuckians have gotten at least one coronavirus test.

There are two main ones offered in the state – PCR, or molecular, tests, and rapid, or antigen, tests.

One Mount Sterling woman got the latter three times and received a negative test result all three times. She says she was sure she was sick – having been in close contact with two people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and having all of the symptoms herself.

Diana Bentley says she first got tested with her husband and daughter December 17 after learning her daughter’s boyfriend had coronavirus.

They all had a rapid test. Her daughter tested positive while Bentley and her husband tested negative.

“I started feeling sick around the 20th,” Bentley recalled.

She went back to the urgent care clinic on the 22nd, only to get another negative result using rapid testing.

“By the 26th, I felt terrible and I called the urgent treatment center and I said, ‘I already know that I don’t have COVID, but I need to come in for a sick visit. I need to know what’s wrong – whether I need antibiotics,” Bentley said.

She says she was even more worried because she takes care of her elderly grandmother and great aunt with Alzheimer’s.

Bentley went back to the clinic for the third time and, again, tested negative.

“She nicely dismissed me and I said, ‘No, I want to know what’s wrong.’”

Then, Bentley remembered there’s another kind of test.

The rapid tests she was getting are antigen tests that detect specific proteins from the virus. After her third negative, Bentley asked if she could do a PCR test, a molecular test that detects the virus’ genetic material based on lab analysis of a nose or cheek swab.

Wednesday, she finally got the result she knew all along – positive.

“I feel like a lot of people are out there with the virus that don’t even know they have it,” Bentely said.

Not only that, but she worries the false negatives encourage people to ignore their symptoms and not quarantine if they’re sick.

“Nobody wants to be responsible for giving somebody this who can’t get over it,” Bentley said. “I would hope that people would just think of others and not themselves.”

The CDC says rapid tests are mostly reliable, though proven less effective than PCR’s.

There are 12 clinics in Central Kentucky that offer rapid testing.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *