On this website, I see that less than 2% of people who don’t have Covid-19 test positive with a PCR test.

What happens to this percentage when we only consider symptomatic people?

So my question is: what percentage of people who have Covid-19 symptoms but who do not actually have Covid-19, test positive with a PCR test?

  • Hi Riemann, could you please clarify your question. If you found a source that gives you the false positive rate, what more do you need? (As an aside, the authors of that study work for Walt Disney, so they have a very notable conflict of interest in getting people into their theme parks.)
    – Ian Campbell
    Jun 22, 2022 at 14:21
  • Hi Ian, thanks for the comment! Good point about the conflict of interest
    – Riemann
    Jun 22, 2022 at 15:53
  • So what I would like to know, is the false positive rate among people who are symptomatic. Since this is a small subset of all people, this alternative false positive rate might be much lower or higher than the ‘usual’ false positive rate
    – Riemann
    Jun 22, 2022 at 15:53
  • 2
    I would not expect the "false positive rate" (FP / (FP + TN)) to be lower among individuals with symptoms. In fact, I would expect that the false positive rate might be even higher among those with symptoms, because of increased risk for cross-reaction with other viruses.
    – Ian Campbell
    Jun 22, 2022 at 17:10


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