COVID-19 rapid tests: Study shows high error rate in children

For many children, it is now part of the morning ritual like a glass of milk: a quick swab, for kindergarten or school. This is to keep the spread of the pandemic in check. In a study by scientists from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), Cologne, this method is now being questioned because it showed that the tests often do not work in the little ones despite infection.

In the study that im BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine appeared and was created in cooperation with the University of Manchester, 17 worldwide studies with more than 6,000 children and eight antigen rapid tests were analyzed. The studies came from the USA, Spain and Germany. The tests examined performed particularly poorly in children without symptoms: the result was correct for only 56.2 percent. Across all children, including those with symptoms, 35.8 percent of the tests were false negative, so more than a third of the infections remained undetected. After all, the rate for really positive was 99.1 percent.