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When people test positive for COVID-19, they don’t actually have COVID-19.

The claim that people who test positive for COVID-19 have been “fooled” is untrue.

People who receive a positive test result for COVID-19 almost always do have COVID-19. There is no evidence of a global conspiracy to fabricate an illness, and no one is tampering with COVID-19 tests. It is also unclear why anyone would want to do that.

As no test is perfect, false positives do happen. However, no one knows what the exact rate is; a figure of 0.8 percent has been put forward, as has 0.5 percent, and 0.05 percent. Regardless, false positives are not the norm and, if you test positive or develop symptoms, you must follow the self-isolation guidelines. Otherwise, you could easily pass on the disease to someone more vulnerable than you, and they could then fall seriously ill.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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