When Covid-19 was first declared a pandemic by WHO, authorities immediately started looking for ways to treat the virus and figure out ways to identify it in patients. After proper research and verification, two kinds of tests were authorized for coronavirus—one is a viral test, and the other is the antibodies test.
A viral test looks for the virus in the patient’s body, while antibodies test only checks if the person has had affected by a virus before and has the power to fight it if it occurs again. That is because once you overcome the virus naturally, the antibodies for that specific virus build up in your body that helps you fight through the virus if it attacks again. It is important to remember that the antibodies test only look for present antibodies to battle the virus; it doesn’t look for the virus itself. So, if the patient wants to have a diagnosis, they would have to opt for a viral test.
There are two kinds of viral test that clinics are doing commonly: PCR test and Antigen test.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is the most accurate test. Authorities have verified it and strongly recommended it, calling it a “gold standard” test. In PCR tests, a clinically expert tester would put nasal swab through your nose and reach the nasal pharyngeal area of your nose—the point where sinuses are joint with the throat. In the nasal pharyngeal area, the tester would swirl the swab and collect the specimen, which would be broken down into millions of little chemicals for doctors to trace the particles of SARS-Cov-2. The reason for collecting nasal fluids from the nasal pharyngeal area is because that is the place where virus base itself in humans, causing initial symptoms like cough, fever, running nose, and headache.
On the other hand, in the antigen test, the cotton swab doesn’t reach the nasal pharyngeal area, and the nasal fluid is collected from the more reachable part of the nostril. No heavy equipment is used; therefore, the results get back in not more than 15 minutes, which is why experts have called it a “rapid test.”
When Should You Get Tested?
Health authorities confirmed that everyone doesn’t need to be tested in panic; only the people who should seriously consider making an appointment for the test are the ones who have coronavirus symptoms.
Apart from that, people who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with someone who is positively diagnosed with Covid-19 should also consider getting tested. Moreover, those who have recently taken part in activities, such as travel, large meetings, and indoor gatherings, are preferred to get tested before they interact with more people.
If you get an antigen test, you will get results back in 15 minutes. However, in the PCR test, the result wouldn’t come before 48 hours; and until the result comes back, you are advised to isolate yourself.
Get your appointment scheduled right now for a free 15-minute rapid Covid test.