Types of COVID-19 Tests

COVID-19 tests have become part of our daily lives, with home test kits and other types of COVID-19 tests, such as the Chronomics PCR test, becoming a norm. Research from various companies and institutes has led to the development of different types of COVID tests. Today you can easily get home test kits from websites such as covidtests.co.uk

COVID tests are usually done under the following circumstances: 

  • When you start exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, or chest congestion.
  • Before and after attending a large social gathering.
  • After you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you have been requested to get one at your workplace when traveling or at the local healthcare center.

Types of Covid Diagnostic Tests

Antigen Test

These tests are used to detect specific proteins that are on the surface or inside the virus. Antigen tests are fast, inexpensive, and efficient. They have been approved by FDA for emergency uses and even at home. The antigen test can make a clinical diagnosis for symptomatic patients during their first five days of symptoms. However, the test isn’t recommended for asymptomatic patients.

Antigen tests are collected by swabbing your throat or nasals. They rapidly give results after ten to thirty minutes. Antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests and offer accurate results when showing high viral levels. However, a person with low viral levels will provide false negatives. In addition, a false negative is common in asymptomatic patients or if you are in the first few days of the infection.

The antigen test is great in symptomatic patients in the early stages of the illness, particularly in settings with poor access to molecular tests. In addition, they are a great option for symptomatic pediatric patients who frequently get respiratory viruses. A lateral flow test is a type of antigen test.

PCR Test 

The molecular PCR test looks for a sample’s COVID-19 virus genetic material. PCR tests are very sensitive and specific. Their positive and negative results are highly reliable when used correctly. PCR tests can detect much smaller levels of viruses in our bodies, and for this reason, they can be able to detect the virus much earlier. PCR tests can also catch the remains of the viral RNA in our bodies even after healing from the infection. 

PCR tests are done at a point-of-care site such as public health testing site or a pharmacy. The tests must be processed in a lab and usually take hours or days to get results. However, molecular PCR tests rarely produce negative effects. PCR test samples can be taken by nasal or throat swabs. In other cases, a health practitioner may also do a saliva test. 

Antibody Tests (Serology)

These tests detect antibodies signaling if your body has mounted an immune response to the virus. They are done by taking a blood sample. Antibody tests don’t show whether you currently have the virus when one was exposed to it. The results of antibody tests are usually out within a day or after three days. Antibody tests are commonly used to estimate the prevalence of coronavirus in a specific population.

Deny Smith
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