Can Other Viruses Cause Positive COVID-19 Results?

Do Other Viruses trigger COVID-19 Tests?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the way many countries and governments track the spread of the virus is through extensive testing. The benefit of testing is that health agencies can track areas that are hit and how severe the cases in that area are. When COVID-19 tests are conducted, what are the chances that other viruses can cause test results to come back positive? Common tests such as PCR and antigen tests are specifically designed to only give positive results when the specified strain of SARS-CoV-2 can be detected. (Click here to find out which COVID-19 test is the most accurate) and (Click here to find out if COVID-19 results can be negative one day and positive the next) . In order for PCR tests to be approved for use, they are first tested with other clinical samples to see if other viruses will trigger the test and they must all come up negative. Commonly PCR tests are given genetic samples of strains such as influenza and other viruses, to which they should all read negative. So the chance of other viruses affecting COVID-19 test results is zero, as the only thing that should trigger a COVID-19 test is the SARS-CoV-2 strain. (To learn more on if a COVID-19 test can come up as with a False Negative, click here).

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