Diseases

When should I take a COVID-19 test?

When should I take a COVID-19 test?
When should I take a COVID-19 test?

Every opportunity should be taken to test anyone exhibiting symptoms. Contact your local health authorities and follow their recommendations if you have no symptoms but have been in close contact with someone who may be contaminated.

A person should remove themselves from others while they wait for test results. When testing capacity is limited, individuals who are more likely to contract an infection, such as healthcare workers, as well as those who are more likely to develop a serious sickness, such as seniors, particularly those residing in senior housing or long-term care facilities, should be tested first.

What examination should I undergo to determine if I have COVID-19?

The majority of the time, SARS-CoV-2 is identified and infection is confirmed using a molecular test. The most popular molecular test is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Swabs are used to take samples from the nose and/or throat. Through the amplification of viral genetic material to detectable amounts, molecular assays identify viruses in samples. Because of this, an active infection is confirmed using a molecular test, typically a few days after exposure and around the time that symptoms may appear.

There are several COVID-19 test types:

The most sensitive tests are those that use PCR, also known as NAAT or testing the virus’s nucleic acid directly. In fact, the tests must be completed in a highly advanced laboratory environment in order to be successful. The turnaround time for these tests can therefore take a few days. It will also take longer than we would want or expect for if there is an outbreak and there are many samples. We refer to the antigen fast diagnostic tests as the antigen testing that is currently available on the market. They search for the antigen on the virus’s outer surface. Furthermore, those have been created such that they can be carried out in the field or at the bedside, negating the requirement for a specialised laboratory environment. Although they are not as precise as PCR testing, they are nevertheless an extremely valuable tool in the fight against the COVID epidemic.

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