The virus that causes COVID-19 can be detected using either molecular testing (PCR) or antigen testing. Antigens, which are protein identifiers present on the surface of a SARS-CoV-2 virus, are sought for by antigen tests. The antigen test is an easy process and is cheaper and quicker than PCR testing; it takes 15 to 30 minutes to complete after sample collection. Antigen tests are normally intended to be utilized within 5-7 days after symptoms appear.
The test involves collecting a sample by swabbing inside your nose. However, it is less precise than PCR testing because a high viral load is necessary for the antigen test to detect COVID-19. Individuals in the early or late phases of COVID may get a misleading result, but this is uncommon. Therefore, individuals who receive a negative test result should perform several tests over a period of time, testing at least twice over the course of three days if they have symptoms.
How is the Antigen Test performed?
Testing for the COVID-19 antigen determines whether there are any signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A test sample is collected from the nostril or the region at the back of the nose to look for antigens, which are evidence of an ongoing infection. When a sample is obtained from your nasopharynx, inserting the swab into your nose can be painful. You might experience a brief sting or desire to cough, and your eyes might start to moisten. After the sample has been analyzed, results are usually available within 15 to 30 minutes.
Due to its increased sensitivity and accuracy, PCR is regarded by international guidelines as the “gold standard” for diagnosing ongoing COVID-19 infections. Since about one-third of those with COVID-19 have no symptoms or other physical indicators, PCR testing can also accurately identify those individuals.
Contact our experts now to discover if PCR or antigen testing is the best option for your needs.
How do I analyze the results of the test?
Results from antigen tests are typically available in less than 15 minutes. Your test results may not be available right away if the sample is sent to a lab.
A COVID-19 antigen test yields a positive, negative, or incorrect result.
If you test positive, you almost certainly have the SARS-CoV-2 virus and should isolate yourself and take precautions to stop the infection from spreading.
If your COVID-19 antigen test revealed a negative result, it is most likely that you were free of the coronavirus at the time of the test. A negative antigen test result does not guarantee you are clear from infection.
When performing an antigen test, always perform a second test at least 48 hours after receiving a negative test result. When a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2 but is tested too soon or too late after contracting the infection, false negative tests may reveal no symptoms of the virus. The outcomes of antigen tests may be verified using molecular tests such as a PCR due to the possibility of false positives or negatives.
A false positive or inconclusive result means the test was not done properly.
What benefits can a COVID-19 antigen test offer?
The COVID-19 antigen test has many benefits, including quick results that enable faster detection of current infections and timely isolation to stop the virus from spreading. These tests can be carried out in several locations, are reasonably priced, and are thus accessible to a wide range of populations. Additionally, antigen tests can be utilized for point-of-care testing in rural or resource-limited places since they are less complicated than PCR tests, which need specialist laboratory equipment.
Who needs to have the test done?
There are several circumstances in which a COVID-19 antigen test may be necessary. If your symptoms are suggestive of COVID-19 in these cases, a positive antigen test can be utilized to make the diagnosis.
Antigen testing is more frequently utilized for COVID-19 screening. The main goal of screening programs is to stop asymptomatic people from spreading the virus. Among the circumstances where screening could be advantageous are:
– You are displaying coronavirus signs.
– You are in a situation where time is of the essence, such as when you must leave soon.
– When you have had prolonged interaction with a COVID-19 carrier.
– When you have been in environments where there is a risk of virus transmission, such as at social events.
– When you reside in or work in settings with a large population, such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, or prisons.
Schedule your antigen test today!
Do you want to do an antigen test because you are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms?
You can order a test online or get Antigen Tested at one of our clinics in Dubai if you have experienced symptoms that are COVID-19-related in the last couple of days.