COVID-19 Testing – Things You Should Know
Researchers are continuously working on the dreadful coronavirus to find its treatment. As a result, they have gained enough knowledge of this virus so as to find simple tests to know its presence. However, lay people have several questions about the accuracy of each of these tests, and also about whether they should do these tests or not in the first place.
Getting the COVID-19 test done too early can result in a negative test; but later the person may become positive and remain unaware of the newly developed infection. Therefore it’s necessary to know when it’s the right time to do private PCR tests.
Types of COVID Tests
You can book COVID PCR test at a good clinic like 107 Harley Street. These tests are categorized into two types – diagnostic tests and antibody tests.
These are again of two types – molecular testing and antigen testing.
Molecular Testing (also known as PCR or RNA tests): This testing is done by swabbing mucus from the deep sections of your nose or throat. The swab is then tested into a lab to check if it contains the unique genetic material of the virus. This is by far supposed to be the most accurate way of COVID-19 testing. However as it involves a lab testing, it may take longer to get the results.
Antigen Testing (also known as rapid testing): This testing too involves a swabbing process similar to the molecular testing, but the swab isn’t sent to a lab and hence results are obtained in real time. This test is mostly done when you access the testing sites. These tests are very accurate in identifying the presence of COVID antigens; however, the COVID antigens may take a while to appear in your system. This means you may be infected with the virus but get a negative result from the rapid testing.
The antibody test is done to check if your blood has COVID antibodies. A positive result of antibody test shows that you had COVID previously, whether you knew it or not, and so, you have developed antibodies to ward off the virus. However, this test can’t tell you if you still have the virus in your body. Hence it doesn’t work as a diagnostic test.
When to Get Tested for COVID?
Unfortunately, there is no specific situation in which we can definitely say that you should get tested for COVID. It depends on the particular scenario and your symptoms. You should do the testing if you’ve been exposed to someone with the virus and also if you have symptoms. COVID tests for travel are also necessary.
Now that you know about the COVID tests in detail, you should get one done and keep yourself and others safe.