False negatives (tests)

Holy moly this is HUGE! This is why my doctor said there are 30-50% FALSE NEGATIVES:

Over the 4 days of infection before the typical time of symptom onset (day 5), the probability of a false-negative result in an infected person decreases from 100% (95% CI, 100% to 100%) on day 1 to 67% (CI, 27% to 94%) on day 4. On the day of symptom onset, the median false-negative rate was 38% (CI, 18% to 65%). This decreased to 20% (CI, 12% to 30%) on day 8 (3 days after symptom onset) then began to increase again, from 21% (CI, 13% to 31%) on day 9 to 66% (CI, 54% to 77%) on day 21.


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Written: May 4th, edited May 8th, 2020

My doctor, from the #1 hospital in IL, told me that 30-50% of covid negative tests are false negatives. When covid first started, they gave people more extensive testing with mouth and nose swabs. When they started having short supplies, almost instantly, they started doing only one swab test with way lower accuracy. I tested negative 2x, but my doctors said I have it, since my symptoms exactly match covid and my boyfriend is covid positive.

I’m in a bunch of covid support groups and I’m hearing story after story, where people have every covid symptom, their lungs look like covid, their doctors say they definitely have covid and yet they had multiple tests come back negative.

My doctor told me that some people in ICU, on ventilators, tested negative 3x, but tested positive on the 4th and 5th test.

I hear people worrying so much about getting tested. Obviously, we need way more testing and that’s a problem but testing in the USA is very inaccurate.

“If it sounds and looks like a duck, it’s a duck.” 

Talk to your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t believe you, go to the ER. If you have most of the symptoms, then you probably have it and should quarantine. You should also get your chest X-rayed and blood work done. I had NO FEVER, during the day, only at night (I noticed from bad night sweats). Also, I have no NO COUGH or lung congestion. My oxygen levels are good when I am sitting, but it still hurts to breathe and I get winded immediately from walking. I also highly recommend having them test your oxygen levels, monitor your heart and blood pressure, while u walk. My 2nd ER visit, my hospital only monitored my oxygen while I walked. I regret it now because I may have to go back to the ER to get those checked. (Edit: I ended up going back to the ER 2 days after this was written)

My lungs came back with at least 2 nodules, pneumonia and my ascending aorta was enlarged due to hypertension and fighting for oxygen. 

My doctor said the “10 SECOND HOLD YOUR BREATHE RULE IS FALSE AND DANGEOUS.” So many people are not going to the ER or to the doctor because they can hold their breath 10 seconds and believe that means they do not have covid. I was doing that test, and wasn’t going to the ER. I should’ve gone to the Er a week or 2 earlier than I did. 

One way also to test your breathing is to see if it’s easier to breathe on your belly, than on your back. Also, see if you get winded walking or doing something that you normally do. I think a week and a half before I went to the ER, I did a 1.5 mile “walk and talk” with 2 friends (on the phone). When I arrived at home, I felt completely winded. And keep in mind, before this, I was walking 3-6 miles a day. 

If you are finding yourself having to take breaks after walking like 5 min or doing something you normally do, call a doctor.

I thought mine was anxiety for a whole week before I went to the ER. Except nothing would help my breathing, which I assumed was anxiety. At night, it became way worse. I had night terrors too at night, but I realize now that was from my fever being so high.

Also, most the men in my life told me it was just anxiety. Even this week, when I talked about not being able to breathe and my blood pressure sky rocketing when I walk, multiple men told me that maybe it’s anxiety. My head almost exploded. I know what anxiety is and what isn’t. Why would taking 3 steps to the bathroom stress me out? Or making oatmeal stress me out for my pulse to jump from 55 to 120 in seconds?

BELIEVE WOMEN. My ER doctors, especially the black women doctors, and the ER nurses who call me every am, always trust me. They explained that these symptoms are all super common in covid patients. 

I think if I would’ve gone to the ER a week or 2 earlier, I wouldn’t have been in this bad of shape. 

Eat lots of potassium and food with iron. My potassium was so low that it was giving me an irregular heart beat!

I write this all to help you all, not to scare anyone.

I am very very slowly improving. I will get through this.

5 thoughts on “False negatives (tests)

  1. Pingback: Covid Teacher
  2. Glad to have this listed. I was tested 36 hours after onset of symptoms and my results were negative. I asked if they were testing too fast and they still wanted to do it. I had the below symptoms.

    upper back extreme pain (can’t tell if muscle or ribs)
    chest pain/tightness
    rib & side pain
    breast pain
    body aches/muscle aches
    respiratory distress
    fatigue, lethargy, weak
    having symptoms in waves
    emotional distress, sadness
    high heart rate, palpitations
    brain fog, forgetfulness
    talking causes exhaustion
    heavy sweating
    no appetite (last a week or two)
    lung, heart pain
    changes in taste/smell
    sinus press headache
    constricted throat (hard to swallow)
    irregular heart beat
    blocked ear drum/ear ache (very painful)
    leg pain
    abdominal pain
    sore throat
    crackling lung
    restless leg
    symptomatic 28 days (so far, and counting)


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