France says virus PCR tests ‘reliable’ despite flaws

Polymerase chain reaction cotton swab coronavirus test
PCR tests (polymerase chain reaction) tests are generally done using a cotton swab in the nose or throat but their reliability depends on a number of factors

The French government has sought to reassure the public that coronavirus Covid-19 virological tests (PCR tests) are “reliable”, even as two apparent major flaws with the tests have emerged.

PCR tests (polymerase chain reaction) tests are generally undertaken using a cotton swab in the nose or throat. They test whether someone has the virus at the time of testing, using DNA samples.

This is as opposed to blood tests, which test for antibodies in a person’s blood.

Blood tests cannot tell if someone is ill at the time of testing, but only if they have been infected with the virus at some point previously, and therefore may have some ...

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