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Updated Cochrane review for Covid-19 rapid tests

Cochrane, a global independent network that gathers and summarises the best evidence from research to help informed health decision-making, has published an updated systematic review assessing rapid tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

It shows that rapid antigen tests are better at correctly identifying cases of COVID-19 in people with symptoms than in people without symptoms. There are large differences in the accuracy of different brands of test, with very few meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) minimum acceptable performance standards.

The first version of this review included 22 studies and was published in August 2020. The updated review now includes evidence from 64 studies. 

The review in people with symptoms shows, on average, 72% of people who had COVID-19 were correctly identified as infected and tests performed best in the first week after symptoms began, when they identified 78% of people who had COVID-19.

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