PCR Test For COVID-19 – How Does It Work?

Generally, a PCR test is conducted to diagnose the COVID-19. This test detects whether a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) or not. It is also termed the “gold standard” test for spotting the COVID-19 because it is the most reliable and accurate test till now.

But, people across the world are still unaware of the working of the PCR test. Therefore, we are here to discuss the working of the PCR test. So, keep reading the article till the end!

When Is It Necessary To Get A COVID-19 PCR Test?

There are certain situations when you must get tested. Some of them are as follows:

  • You possess any symptoms of COVID-19.

  • You interact with the person (who has Positive COVID-19) for 15 minutes or within six feet.


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How Does A COVID-19 PCR Test Work?

The PCR test for the COVID-19 works in three very simple steps that are discussed below:

  1. Collect A Sample

    Collecting a sample for the COVID test is quite simple and easy. In this step, a swab is used for collecting the respiratory material from the person’s nose. A swab is usually made of a soft hat attached to a flexible stick and inserted in the nose.

    Different varieties are now available in swabs. One popular type of swab is a nasal swab that immediately collects the sample inside from the nostrils, while the other one is a nasopharyngeal swab that can move further inside the nasal cavity.

    Both types of swabs are effective for collecting the material for the PCR test conducted for the COVID-19. Once the sample collection is done, the swab is sealed inside a test tube and sent to the laboratory. 

  2. Extraction

    When the sample arrives at the laboratory, the technologist performs an extraction process on the received sample. This process aims to isolate all the genetic material from the sample, which can include the genetic material from any kind of virus that can be found in the person’s body.

  3. PCR Result

    The final step is the PCR result. In this step, the PCR machine is used with some special chemicals. This machine is known as the thermal cycler. The purpose of using this machine is to cause a reaction to happen that can create lots of copies of some portion of the genetic material of the COVID-19.

    When the process is going on, one of the chemicals produces a fluorescent light if there is any virus found in the material. This fluorescent light is a particular indication that is spotted by the PCR machine. However, the machine’s software interprets that the signal is positive, which means that virus is present in the sample. Thus, the test result is positive. 


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The Final Words:

The PCR test is the most authentic test conducted for detecting the presence of coronavirus in the patient’s body. The results of this test never go wrong. So, if you have some symptoms of coronavirus, don’t wait and go for the PCR test instantly! If not, you must get vaccinated to protect yourself and others from this scary virus!

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