11 Mar

I Have COVID – So Why Is My RAT Test Negative?

With doing a RAT test now common in New Zealand, some people are asking – why have I tested negative, despite starting to show symptoms?

A RAT test is not as sensitive as the PCR tests performed in a lab, because they work in different ways.

How does a PCR test work?

PCR tests increase even tiny amounts of the virus DNA that you may have. They take at least 12 hours or longer to give a result.

How does a RAT test work?

In comparison. RAT tests detect antigens on the surface of the virus. But, they don’t magnify the virus, so a person needs to have produced enough antigens in their body to return a positive result. RAT tests are quick and give results in 15 minutes or less.

What should I do?

Emerging studies are showing that RATs tend to detect infections most reliably two to five days after exposure, in people with high viral loads, who are experiencing symptoms.

A RAT test can show negative in asymptomatic people, who are tested very early in the their infections.


People who think they may have COVID, and their first RAT test result was negative, are recommended to take repeat RAT tests over the next few days.


A nurse leader stresses the importance of blowing your nose before doing a RAT test & inserting the swab 2-3 cm. Watch the video here

Microbiologist, Siouxsie Wiles explains a rapid antigen test ‘hack’ to help detect Omicron.

ZOOM Pharmacy RAT test detects the latest Omicron variants

By end April 2022 it was confirmed XE & BA. 4 have now arrived in New Zealand – the RAT test supplied by ZOOM Pharmacy detects the following Omicron variants: BA. 1, BA. 2, BA. 3, BA. 4, BA. 5, XD, XE.

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COVID-19 is ‘not going to go away’

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealanders will have to accept COVID-19 is ‘not going to go away’.

‘I think there’s certainly more infection in the community than the testing numbers will be showing,’ he told Q+A on Sunday.

Recent models have suggested that the infection rate could be as much as five times higher than the daily case numbers are showing.

Hipkins said we ‘do have to accept that we are going to be moving to a state where COVID-19 is going to be out there and it’s not going to go away’.

Buy your RATs for peace of mind!

Buy your RATs now from ZOOM Pharmacy, your trusted and reliable supplier of RATs.

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