Elon Musk went on Twitter on Thursday night to say that he received mixed results from an antigen test performed on him as he was having a common cold. Musk mentioned that he was tested 4 times with the antigen test with 2 results coming back positive and 2 results coming back negative. What the hell right? This is Elon Musk we are talking about. Musk now awaits results of 2 PCR tests.
Difference between and Antigen test and PCR
Antigen tests work by detecting a small protein on the surface of the coronavirus, whereas the more accurate PCR tests look for the virus itself. Antigen tests can be conducted quickly as they don’t require labs and are conducted in hot spots such as universities and elderly care facilities. According to the FDA“positive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negatives.” That’s why PCR tests are ordered to prevent the possible spread of the virus due to a false negative. One such antigen test from Quidel can detect the coronavirus 85 percent of the time. Musk says his antigen test came from BD.
Apart from him saying that something extremely bogus is going on, Musk implies that this experience is likely shared due to the spike in the virus in the US.
Musk has been spreading doubt, confusion, and sometimes outright misinformation about the coronavirus. He’s accused doctors of inflating case numbers for financial reasons, promoted a widely discredited paper on the benefits of chloroquine, called shelter-in-place orders “fascist,” and dismissed panic associated with the pandemic as “dumb.” In March he predicted “close to zero new cases” by the end of April.