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Tests for Coronavirus: Types and Significance
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Tests for Coronavirus: Types and Significance

Tests for Coronavirus: Types and Significance

24,Dec,2020

This viral infection, called covid-19 is responsible for serious respiratory problems. In several different ways, this new strain of viral infection impacts different persons.

A number of persons infected may experience symptoms that are mild or moderate and may require no hospitalisation.

Common symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • New loss of taste and smell
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

Serious sickness has been recorded as a result of the effect of covid-19 on persons both adults and anyone having underlying health issues like cancer, kidney or liver disease, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure and more. Keep an eye on your health and get PCR COVID test.

Coronavirus test is important

You may get a positive or negative result from a covid-19 screening. This test is key so that you can either go for treatment or self-isolate immediately you know you're infected.

Coronavirus test types

Studies have shown that in India, the fight against covid-19 has been seriously under the strategy tagged 'Test, Track, and Treat'.

Several techniques have been employed in tracing coronavirus infection quickly and effectively.

Common tests for covid-19 include:

Molecular (RT-PCR) Tests

This is a testing method that checks for the presence of the virus directly on the sample. Here, the genetic material, RNA of the virus is identified. During this test, the initial phase involves converting the RNA to DNA via the reverse transcriptase (an enzyme). It is this DNA that the PCR test spots which is why it's called the RT-PCR. Another name for it is the diagnostic test and nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).

Your throat or nasal sample is taken with a swab.

Results from the test is provided same day or 2 to 3 days. These tests are known to be very high in sensitivity and specificity and as such, very accurate.

The presence of the virus is what this test seeks to detect. You're positive if the virus is identified in your sample. You may also be negative, but it doesn't imply you can't have it; probably the testing was done during the early days.

This test does not indicate whether covid-19 has ever affected you in the past.

Should you have symptoms of the coronavirus, consult your healthcare provider for useful advice - a test probably.

Coronavirus rate of spreading is very high. Some hospitals may not be able to test samples of covid-19. Are you planning to travel soon, get a covid certificate for travel.

Covid-19 Antigen test

Any viral proteins or foreign matter in the body that sets off an immune response is known as a covid-19 antigen.  Here, the antigens linked to the coronavirus are detected. Another name for this test is a rapid antigen test - a fast diagnostic screening which produces results at a speed far exceeding that of molecular tests. However, this test type has a limitation in that its chances of not spotting an active infection is high.

A throat or nasal swab is taken for testing, and results show up within an hour or less; it's a rapid test anyway!

With the rapid test, the result is accurate if it's positive, but may need another test like molecular testing to confirm a negative result.

Active coronavirus in the sample is shown in this test. But it can miss identifying an active covid-19 infection when compared to the RT-PCR tests.

Covid-19 antibody test

This has other names like Serology blood test or serological test. It tests for coronavirus antibodies in the blood. Here, you can be tested for the previous infection from virus causing covid-19. This test identifies your immune system's response to the virus rather than spotting active virus.

A blood sample is needed for this test, and results come out the same day or in 1 to 3 days. To confirm accuracy, a second covid-19 antibody test may be required.

This test shows any past infection from covid-19 and whether you have developed antibodies against it but doesn't detect any active virus.

When should you see the doctor?

Speak with a doctor online should you have less severe symptoms such as mild fever and cough. Give them all the relevant details and stay at home. Seeing a doctor in-person isn't necessary. Go on self-isolation and observe your symptoms for the following 2 weeks. Should symptoms become severe like blue lips, mental confusion, or difficulty breathing, kindly see a doctor at once.

See your doctor for useful advice on coronavirus test. You can visit www.walkinclinic.london to book a pcr test online. In the meantime, social distance and observe healthy practices.

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