Antigen tests are temperature-sensitive. © imago images/Oliver Mueller Would you like to do a quick corona self-test outdoors and then meet family or friends? That is often the case these days. But especially in winter, users have to consider a few things.Munich – The risk of infection with the corona virus* is many times higher indoors than outdoors. So it makes sense to do a quick antigen test in the fresh air and wait for the result before entering a room with other people. But that’s a mistake given the current temperatures. Even manufacturers warn against proceeding like this in winter: “Of course, the idea of carrying out the quick test outside is not a bad one. However, we strongly advise against this in winter cold, as otherwise the result may be falsified. All test components such as the test cassette, sample and buffer must be at a temperature of 15 to 30 degrees Celsius,” says Roland Meißner, Managing Director of nal von minden GmbH, a manufacturer of corona tests.
Corona tests in the cold: effects on the result
The Baden-Württemberg State Chamber of Pharmacists also advises against its use: “Low temperatures below four degrees Celsius during storage and execution of the antigen test reduce the specificity of the test result. As a consequence, there can be more false positive results,” writes the Chamber of Pharmacists on its website. Both high and low temperatures have an impact on the result of self-tests. Users should definitely read the packaging or leaflet carefully – because: All processes run more slowly in the cold. Managing Director Meißner: “The flow rate is slower. As a result, it takes longer for the sample from the nose or mouth to react with the antibodies in the rapid test. This can lead to an incorrect result.”
Rapid antigen tests: No storage in the refrigerator
Many people store their medication in the refrigerator* – but this can become a problem with rapid antigen tests. If you store it there and then use it at warm room temperature, you could also get a false positive or negative result – Professor Dr. Jan Felix Drexler from the Institute for Virology at the Berlin University Clinic to the German Press Agency. Corona test manufacturer “Hot Gen”, for example, recommends storage between four and 30 degrees, and the application should be carried out between 10 and 30 degrees. *tz.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.
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