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How do antigen tests work?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-12-16      Origin: Site

Antigen tests look for viral proteins rather than the genetic material of the virus.They cannot detect very small amounts of virus,so you need a higher amount of virus in your sample to get a positive result.This means you're most likely to get accurate results when you have the most virus in your system (usually about a week after symptoms appear).It also means that false negative results are more common with antigen tests,especially if you are asymptomatic (meaning you have been infected but don't have any symptoms) or if you were tested when you were recently infected.Unlike a PCR test,you can complete the entire antigen testing process yourself at home.You simply apply the swab to a cartridge or test strip with a nasal or throat swab,similar to a pregnancy test.Results are usually ready in about 15 minutes.That's why these are often called "quick" tests.You can also get rapid antigen tests at doctor's offices and pharmacies.

PCR vs Antigen Testing: Which Should I Choose? Covid-19 Test-udxrapidtest

The type of test you need depends on why you are taking the test.For example,doctors often use PCR tests to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis because they are more accurate.However,if you are routinely tested at school or work,antigen testing may be more convenient and effective,allowing for rapid,regular testing.If you plan to travel,you may need to show a negative COVID-19 test.Depending on where you are going,there may be requirements for the type of test and when and where you can get it.So make sure you know the regulations in the area you visit so as not to delay your plans.If you are sick and have symptoms of COVID-19,a drive-thru PCR test or a home antigen test may be a good option so you can avoid the risk of exposing others.Many are also taking a COVID-19 test for peace of mind.Whatever your reasons,it's important to consider timing.Experts recommend waiting three to five days after a potential exposure to avoid false negative results.

Where can I be tested? What about the cost?

Health centers and pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens offer COVID-19 testing for low or no cost.Testing at an approved location,such as a hospital or doctor's office,may also be covered by your insurance.But home rapid antigen tests may not be covered. So if you're concerned about cost,do your research and consult with your insurance company before choosing a testing type and location-or find a free community testing location near you.If you have symptoms of COVID-19,consult your doctor and follow their recommendations for testing and managing your symptoms.Remember,the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.