SARS-C0V-2 test is a comprehensive approach to reduce transmission. Screening symptoms, contact tracing, and testing are strategies to identify people infected with SARS-CoV-2.
In addition, home testing kits, such as a PCR & antibody home test kits, are considered more convenient. Rather than traveling to a lab or doctor’s office, you can get a diagnosis for Covid-19 at your convenience.
1. Covid-19 home test kits
Various categories of tests are used to identify SARS-CoV-2. However, the performance characteristics vary from each other. For example, while some tests provide results rapidly, others require time for processing.
PCR home test kit
PCR test is mainly for people with symptoms of coronavirus. In addition, a swab is sent to a lab to get the results.
Benefits of a PCR home test kit
1. A particular version is used when RNA is detected and is now used as a test to detect SARS-CoV-2.
- Fairly quick, sensitive, and reliable, capable of producing results within 3-4 hours.
- Developed as an “all in one” kit to reduce laboratory handling and potential for contamination.
- A simple process that reduces the time between taking your sample ad getting accurate diagnosis.
The main steps for doing a PCR test
- Wash your hands with soap.
- Layout all the items in the test kit on a clean surface.
- Blow your nose, and sanitize your hands.
- Keep your mouth open and rub the swab over your tonsils.
- Place the same swab in your nose until you experience some resistance.
- Place the swab facing down into the tube and screw the lid tight.
- Place your sample in the bag provided.
Note: if you can’t swab your tonsils, you can swab both nostrils instead. However, the test result may be less accurate when you only swab nostrils.
2. Antibody home test kit
The antibody lateral flow tests for SARS-CoV-2 identify antibodies to covid-19 infection in a patient’s blood. Consequently, it needs a drop of patient blood, either from a small finger prick or a vein to diagnose.
Benefits of an Antibody home test kit
- Also used to identify people who have recovered from the coronavirus infection recently.
- Detects specific IgA and IgG against the virus in the blood of infected patients.
- Testing a small blood sample help doctors look for antibodies that a person’s body may have made to fight the virus.
- Ability to check if patients are currently infected or have recovered from Covid-19.
The main steps for doing an Antibody home test kit
- Wash or sanitize your skin.
- Place an elastic band at your arm to swell your veins with blood.
- Insert a needle into your vein (usually in your arm inside of the elbow or on the back of your hand).
- Pull the blood sample into a syringe or vial.
- Peel off the elastic band and remove the needle from your vein.
- In some cases, an antibody test can be done with a finger stick. First, the healthcare worker cleans the finger. After that, they prick the top of it with a tiny needle to collect your blood.
Working of home test kits
- When a healthcare worker collects the PCR & antibody home test samples, chemicals remove fats, proteins, and other molecules to leave the only RNA behind.
- It is the mixture of the person’s genetic material and viral RNA that might be present.
- The test kit enzymes copy RNA to DNA. Moreover, it is also allowed to detect the virus with a PCR machine.
- It cycles the test temperature so that approximately 40 billion copies of viral DNA are made for each viral RNA strand present.
Top ten considerations while testing
- The manufacturer and the name of the test.
- The type and the purpose of the test.
- The performance specifications of the test.
- Any limitations associated with the test.
- Difference between workplace screenings versus medical diagnosis.
- The working of the PCR & antibody home test.
- How and when you will receive the test results.
- How to understand what the results mean.
- Actions associated with the negative or positive effects.
- The consequences for declining to be tested.
Top considerations after taking the test
- Continue to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask and staying at least six feet away from others.
- Whether you have tested positive or negative for covid-19, wash and sanitize your hands regularly.
- People who wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work should continue to wear PPE, even if they test positive for the coronavirus.
The bottom line
You should be careful while you gather the nasal sample. The swab head that comes with the skit shouldn’t be touched. Taking a PCR & antibody home test sample may be uncomfortable if you don’t know the accurate produce. However, our extensive guide will help you make this process easier.
Michael Smith is a healthcare worker, counselor, and writer that empower patients and even doctors to improve every digital touchpoint of the patient journey. He believes that every person who struggles with a significant life transition can benefit from a safe space to share concerns. Moreover, he has also worked with some of the most renowned research organizations and made research contributions to PCR & antibody home test publications and research projects over the years.