Clips of young people applying various liquids to lateral flow tests have racked up millions of views on the popular video app, with many users offering suggestions.
Videos uploaded under the search term #fakecovidtest have been viewed over 6.5 million times, with the dedicated @ .fakecovidtests account gaining over 20,000 subscribers.
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Education officials have warned the practice was “massively unnecessary” as schools are already fighting to keep education going amid epidemics.
“We’re sure this affects a very small minority of students and that for the most part the tests are being used correctly,” said Geoff Barton, secretary general of the Association of School and College Leaders. is.
“However, we urge parents to make sure that the tests are not misused, and we suggest to students who are interested in chemical reactions that the best place to learn more about them is in chemistry lessons. at school. “
A single video has been viewed over 2.5 million times since it went live on April 1, while others have received over 289,000 and 71,000 views, respectively.
Applesauce, Coca Cola, vinegar, hand sanitizer, and kiwi fruit are among the suggestions that users are encouraging others to apply for tests in the hopes of being tested positive for Covid-19 and being forced to stay away from school.
However, many users have pointed out that students’ positive lateral flow tests should be followed by PCR testing.
Independent fact-checking organization Full Fact previously explained that soft drinks and acidic fruits can appear to break the test by displaying what looks like a positive result, noting that rapid tests very rarely return false positive results when they are used on humans as intended.
Dr Alexander Edwards, associate professor of biomedical technology at the University of Reading, previously told Full Fact: “If you completely ignore the manufacturer’s instructions or are in fact using the test for something completely different then you shouldn’t. not really be surprised if you get a stupid result.
A TikTok account appearing to belong to a British teenager features several videos of him testing combinations of Calpol cough medicine, lemon juice, orange juice, Lynx deodorant, and Dior aftershave on rapid tests. ‘antigen.
Mary Bousted, co-secretary general of the National Education Union, said is this week that Delta’s spread to schools meant the situation in parts of the country had become “untenable.”
She said students should be tested in school to fight teens who have stopped self-assessing.
A spokesperson for TikTok said, “Our community guidelines make it clear that we are removing content that includes misleading information causing harm, including medical misinformation related to Covid-19, and anti-vaccine misinformation more broadly.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have worked to provide our community with access to reliable information, and through our partnership with Team Halo, scientists around the world have shared how vaccinations are created and tested for safety. “