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Kids Are Faking Positive Lateral Flow Tests Using Soft Drinks

Poppy Bilderbeck


Kids Faking Positive Lateral Flow - Alamy Alamy

Children have been using soft drinks to fake positive lateral flow results. 

Kids these days, eh? Far too good at makeup than when I was at the age of 13 – having worn bright orange foundation and glaring blue eyeshadow – and apparently a lot more clever and sneaky as well.


Children have been caught using substances such as orange juice and Coca-Cola to create fake positive coronavirus lateral flow test results in order to bunk off school.

A bit more stupidly, however, they’ve been sharing the hack on TikTok.

Kids Fake Positive Lateral Flows - Alamy Alamy

One account dedicated to the trick had more than 20,000 followers before it was deactivated, and other videos have been shared via the hashtag #fakecovidtest, the search results of which have since been cleared, The Independent reports.


A spokesperson for TikTok stated:

Our community guidelines make clear that we remove content which includes misleading information that causes harm, including medical misinformation related to Covid-19, and anti-vaccination disinformation more broadly.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have worked to provide our community with access to trusted information, and through our partnership with Team Halo, scientists from all over the world have shared how vaccinations are created and tested for safety.

Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it was reportedly only a ‘very small minority of students’ taking part in the scam, however, a school in Liverpool had to write to parents to warn them of the viral trick, as per BBC


Barton also told The Independent: 

We would urge parents to ensure that tests are not being misused, and we would suggest to pupils who are interested in chemical reactions that the best place to learn about them is in chemistry lessons in school.

Just because the substances – from hand sanitiser, to strawberries, to Coca-Cola and even ketchup – create a positive lateral flow result, this reportedly does not mean that the substances contain coronavirus, according to fact-checking site Full Fact.

It stated that the positive results were caused by the acidity of the substances breaking the tests. Moreover, it reassured that just because certain foods and drink resulted in a positive result, it doesn’t mean that lateral flow tests do not work on humans.


Full Fact noted, ‘Lateral flow tests are very unlikely to give a false positive result if used correctly.’

However, lateral flow tests have recently come under scrutiny for the accuracy of their results, with an A&E doctor taking to Instagram to warn about the various possible meanings of faint lines.

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Topics: News, children, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Now, School


BBC and 1 other
  1. BBC

    How children are spoofing Covid-19 tests with soft drinks

  2. The Independent

    TikTok tips on faking positive Covid tests to get out of school viewed millions of times

Poppy Bilderbeck
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