If you’ve been feeling unwell or have just come into direct contact with someone who has COVID-19, you’re undoubtedly researching COVID-19 testing alternatives. And, if that is the case, you are likely to be somewhat perplexed by the variety of testing options accessible. Terms like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), fast testing, and antibody testing are strewn over web pages discussing COVID-19. It can be confusing to decipher what they imply and which is suitable for you. The purpose of this article is to describe the distinctions between the two most often used tests for COVID-19 diagnosis. Fast antigen testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays.
Antigen Rapid Tests
Individuals with or without COVID-19 symptoms can be tested with a fast antigen test. This test collects nasal and throat secretions through nasopharyngeal swabs and then examines them for COVID-19 virus-specific protein fragments. While these tests deliver findings quickly—within 15 minutes—they are generally regarded as less accurate than PCR tests. It is not uncommon to obtain a false negative (a result indicating that an individual does not have coronavirus when they do) or a false positive (a result indicating that an individual does have coronavirus when they do). If you are feeling unwell and have had a negative fast test. You may choose to have a PCR test performed for additional confirmation. On the other hand, rapid antigen tests often produce reliable results when performed during the peak of an illness. This is when viral levels in the body are highest.
In other aspects, PCR tests are comparable to fast testing in that they can be delivered to individuals with or without symptoms and are performed using a nasopharyngeal swab. However, this is where the parallels end.
When COVID-19 testing, PCR tests are considered the gold standard. Indeed, if you have ever been asked to demonstrate documentation of a COVID-19 test. You have been obliged to give PCR findings. These tests are more accurate than quick testing because they employ a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify the COVID-19 viral genetic material. This genetic material can be discovered both during and after acute sickness.
Of course, the disadvantage of PCR tests is that they do not produce results as quickly as fast tests. The standard schedule is three to seven days, but this can be extended during busy periods.
The so-called quick tests for COVID-19 have joined those that have existed since the disease’s initial outbreak and need specialized equipment and laboratories, including:
PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or molecular assays that look for ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome and indicate whether a SARS-CoV-2 infection exists at the time the test is performed;
Serological tests, which look for antibodies to the virus, indicate whether we were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and our immune system responded by creating antibodies, regardless of whether we develop symptoms of the disease.
What are fast diagnostic tests?
Rapid tests produce results in a short amount of time, typically minutes. Do not require laboratory processing with specialized equipment. Occasionally, they are performed on the spot where the sample is taken. Home pregnancy tests are the most well-known fast testing.
COVID-19 rapid testing
There are two types of COVID-19:
Rapid diagnostic tests that, when conducted in an appropriate clinical and epidemiological setting, aim to determine whether the virus is present in the organism;
Rapid antibody tests are used to determine whether the patient has been exposed to the virus previously and has developed antibodies.
Testing for COVID-19 at TIB Diagnostics
TIB Diagnostics provides COVID-19 testing. We offer both fast and PCR testing at all of our sites. During a telemedicine examination, we can assist you in determining the optimal choice for your specific needs.
Additionally, we now provide an express testing option for asymptomatic patients (those without COVID-19 symptoms). This test is not covered by insurance and costs $160 for a single test and $210 for both the fast and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) difficulties.
Read More: Where Can You Get a Rapid Covid Test Near Me