Some teenagers in the United Kingdom have found a way to fake COVID-19 tests so they won't have to go to school for at least 10 days and parents are being warned about this trend, which has been going viral on social media.
According to iNews UK, one parent had to isolate his son when one of his classmates allegedly tested positive for COVID-19. The school informed the dad that his son was in close contact with the girl but he later learned that that the kids have been faking positive Covid-19 test results based on a video they've seen on TikTok.
The father said that his son's friend tried the fake COVID-19 test so she could "stay off school." Currently, the health guidelines in the U.K. require people with a positive test result to isolate for 10 days.
The dad has spoken to the girl's mother, who had her daughter undergo a legitimate test, which turned out to be negative. He said that parents and schools should not let children get away with exploiting this scheme as it will have a major effect on the community.
How to Check a Fake Result
The viral video has been viewed over 6.5 million times and has generated over 20,000 followers for the user. It instructed students to place a drop of soda or orange juice on the COVID-19 lateral flow test (LFT), which has a strip of material that turns red when a sample has antibodies from the virus.
According to The Conversation, soda or fruit juices may cause the LFT to turn red because they have highly acidic ingredients that bind to the paper-like material inside the testing device just like the virus. However, unlike the virus, the acid from these fake samples could be easily washed off with water, which would be the best way to check if the Covid-19 test result has been spoofed.
University of Reading biomedical technology engineer Alexander Edwards said that this is not a design flaw in the LFT and the viral video is not a hack to fake COVID-19 tests because it is a "silly" presumption of the science that goes into obtaining an actual positive result. He said that professional testing sites in the U.K. comply with the manufacturer's instructions on using the testing device.
'It's Just for Fun'
Meanwhile, the teenager who made the video said he had not intended his creation to go viral. He told iNews UK that he thought of making many fake COVID-19 tests videos "just for fun" as he hasn't seen any of these on TikTok before.
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He said he posted his experiments on TikTok using different samples based on the urging and suggestions of his followers. Most of his samples did not have a false-positive result, except for the soda and the orange juice. He also said that he didn't bring his test results for lab testing since his videos were not meant to be taken seriously.
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