2020 see us battling the novel Covid 19 virus with all its various symptoms relating to other viral infections. This leaves one at a crossroads on how and what to do to detect this virus.
If you notice you have any symptoms of Covid 19, what is the next step, and how do you test if truly you have the virus or you just assumed so. There are various types of tests with different times of showing results and preciseness.
In this post, we will discuss the different types of covid 19 testing and the applicability and benefits of each. Also, see these mobile COVID testing options in Sacramento.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are believed to be 99% accurate and effective in detecting the novel covid 19 viruses.
In PCR, a swab is used to collect an RNA sample from the patient’s tonsils and inside their nose.
The RNA is collected because it carries necessary information about the viruses. This sample is sent to the laboratory where it is heated up and cooled so it multiplies into larger quantities of DNA. Because of this PCR may take longer than other types of testing but it is widely assumed to be the most effective.
Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) has a similar process with PCR tests as it also looks for RNA in the patient sample but produces more viral RNA copies at a constant temperature. This allows it to produce a quicker result within hours of testing.
A swab is used to take samples from the nose or throat or they can just simply use a saliva sample or mucus from hard coughing. So, the swabbing needs to be as hard or vigorous as that of PCR tests.
The samples are then placed in vials of reagents. These reagents are seen as substances that produce chemical reactions to detect the RNA. This is then heated in a special machine for 20 minutes. The machine then will analyze the sample and confirm if there is any SARS-CoV-2 RNA (the virus responsible for Covid 19).
Though there are many concerns that this type of testing isn’t as accurate as PCR testing because it can produce false negatives. Nevertheless, it is mostly used in airports to test travelers entering and going from the country.
This test is used to detect antigens-protein on the surface of the virus. This is used on the samples taken from suspected patients. Like PCR, the test confirms if a patient is actively infected with Covid.
Swabbing is not necessary as antigens can be detected on saliva and taking the sample to the laboratory is not necessary. The testing can be done at care homes without much medical professionals assistance.
They provide quicker and faster results than both PCR and LAMP tests as results can be seen within thirty to forty-five minutes. It is believed that the result may not be quite accurate than both and worse if handled by nonmedical professionals.
Antibody tests are not literally to detect active Covid infection but are used to look for whether your a patient’s body has produced antibodies to fight against the virus. Antibodies are created by the immune system in response to the presence of the virus in the body in fighting off the disease and to protect the body against a future attack from the same disease again (this is not so assured in the case of Covid 19)
The test is usually carried out on patients who have had Covid-19 symptoms but have disappeared two to four weeks earlier.
It is believed that not everyone who has had the Covid virus will provide antibodies hence there is the possibility of errors and also, the test doesn’t show if a patient is immune or not.