Medical professionals are warning schools and other groups of teenagers who have learned how to use soft drinks to fake a positive COVID-19 test.
Videos uploaded to social media using the hashtag “fake covid test” show young people, mainly in England, applying various liquids to rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.
A group of researchers from the University of Liverpool in England are studying the effects of applying soft drinks and artificial sweeteners to the test swabs.
All four sweeteners tested showed negative results on rapid COVID-19 tests, as did spring water. But 10 of 14 soft drinks produced positive or weakly positive results, with no apparent link between the test results and the soft drinks’ ingredients, the researchers reported on Monday.
The researchers advise testing “should be performed first thing in the morning, prior to the consumption of any food or drinks, and supervised where feasible.”