If you never tested positive for COVID after exposure and symptoms, what does that mean?

If you never tested positive for COVID after exposure and symptoms, what does that mean?

As the latest COVID surge continues to keep cases high across California, some people — especially if they’ve been repeatedly exposed to the coronavirus or even had symptoms — may be wondering: Why have I still not tested positive?

While experts continue to try to understand what, if any, genetic factors protect people from ever getting COVID, the question of why some people never seem to test positive, even if they are fairly sure they were infected, is a bit less of a mystery , though still not entirely clear.

Both laboratory PCR and home antigen tests remain useful tools in the pandemic response, said several experts during a recent UCSF grand rounds panel. But the home tests in particular have been somewhat unreliable at detecting infections, and the experts explored some theories on why false negatives may be occurring. Antigen tests, which detect proteins from the coronavirus, are generally less sensitive than PCR tests, which look for viral genetic material.

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