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'How to' videos of false-positive COVID tests removed from TikTok

“From a public health point of view it’s a little disruptive,” said Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Faking a positive COVID test to get out of school is what some students in the United Kingdom are doing and they are putting their fake COVID tests on social media.

TikTok blocked the hashtag “fake COVID tests” because some users in the United Kingdom were posting videos of how to create a fake positive COVID test.

Some users of the social media platform posted videos of creating “false positives” by using several things like orange juice, lemon, or soda with the COVID rapid tests.

Many of the videos were viewed millions of times before being removed by TikTok.

“From a public health point of view it’s a little disruptive,” said Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Schaffner said he believes British investigators are looking into how these “false positives” for the rapid COVID tests work.

“They have come to inconclusive experiments because they have used some of the ingredients in soft drinks and can’t seem to understand how it works. But apparently, it does. So beware of a teenager doing a test on their own,” Dr. Schaffner said.

Dr. Schaffner shared his advice for teenagers taking the rapid COVID tests.

“There are two ways around that of course. Do supervised tests don’t let teenagers do it on their own,” Dr. Schaffner said. “And the other very seriously, if there is any doubt you can use more rigorous nasal swab tests in order to check and see whether you are really positive,” he added.

Our NBC affiliate in Nashville, WSMV, asked Dr. Schaffner about the accuracy of a rapid COVID test compared to a PCR test.

“We’ve known for a long time the PCR test, which is more elaborate, more expensive, and takes more time, is the gold standard. The rapid test is really of assistance if you tolerate a little more uncertainty. And it’s being used in university situations,” Dr. Schaffner said.