Everything You should know about Coronavirus Testing

    coronavirus testing

    With the global pandemic, COVID-19 has affected the lives of innumerable people and brought some fear into the minds of everyone. New tests are being conducted everyday and some seem to be more reliable than others. The importance of COVID 19 test in London will help to know if you have been infected with the deadly disease and how you can stay protected from it. Experts have been consulted to get the answers for some common questions.

    What is the difference between diagnostic or PCR tests and antibody tests?

    A: The testing for COVID-19 falls into two categories:

    • Diagnostic tests ? This can help you to detect the live virus which can either be on a molecular level, also called PCR tests or by detecting viral proteins that have become a part of the virus itself popularly known as antigen tests.
    • Antibody tests ? Also called serological tests, this will use your blood to identify antibodies produced by the immune response to virus. As antibodies cannot be detected after you have had the virus for sometime, this test can?t be used for proper diagnosis. It is more effective for scientists to track the spread of the disease or get prepared for vaccine trials.

    How will each one work?

    The diagnostic tests begin from the same place which is a specimen that can be collected through swab but they take separate paths. Antibody tests work in a different way completely.

    • PCR tests ? These use a sample of mucus which can be taken from your throat or nose. They are collected with the insertion of a long swab through the mouth or nostril to the back of your throat that can be rubbed or rotated against the surface to absorb secretions. Those secretions have been subjected to a technology which is known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that duplicates virus?s DNA several times till it is detectable.
    • Antigen tests ? Theyare considered to be a new development for diagnosis and the FDA has issued the first emergency use authorization on May 9. These types of authorizations are a particular product that can fulfill unmet need during an emergency though it has not been approved by the FDA. These tests require a swab to collect the specimen though instead of needing to replicate DNA, antigen tests can detect fragments of proteins quickly from the virus.
    • Antibody tests ? They use the blood sample to know if the immune system of your body has produced antibodies that have been exposed to the virus. Even though you are looking for an immune response, a positive antibody test does not mean you are highly immune to the virus. Since COVID-19 is new, it is not known whether the virus can be infected again.

    Q: Which test should you require and how can you get it done?

    A: On-demand diagnostic testing is not yet available in many places since the tests are in short supply and the CDC has set up guidelines who needs to get tested. This includes anyone who has the symptoms and people without symptoms who get priority from the health departments or health care providers due to some reason. So, you need to talk to the doctor and know if you are eligible for it. If you detect you have had the virus and want further confirmation, it is suggested to talk to your provider for getting an antibody test done.

    Q: How big a deal are false negatives?

    A: False negatives might take place since some tests seem to be more reliable than others or due to the way the specimen had been collected. For example, getting a swab thrust into your throat?s back may seem to be unpleasant and if you find it difficult to tolerate it, then the sample might not require sufficient material. False negatives can be risky in case a patient ignores the advice of the provider and acts as if the test result means they are clear and free.

    Q: How will you know if the test you received is authentic?

    A:?You need to ask your health care provider and if you are not aware about the specifics of the test, it is suggested to contact the laboratory they use for getting the most appropriate information.

    Q: Is it possible to conduct an at-home test?

    A: The idea about getting tested without leaving your house is appealing for different reasons. The FDA ha not approved any tests that can be done completely at home. Still, you cannot collect your own specimen and get the desired results. But it is emergency use authorization to get several test kits that require you to collect a specimen and then send it to the lab for processing. Any test that doesn?t appear on an FDA list has not been authorized and so, you need not trust it.

    Q: Can you go back to work when your antibody test came positive?

    A. No, you cannot go back to work as people want you to be COVID Free. It is not known whether the antibodies are protective against infection or it means you are not infectious. So, you should stay at home for your own safety as well as safety for others.

    Q: What will your insurance cover?

    A: Regretfully, there isn?t any answer to it. You might have seen news that health insurance companies will cover 100% of the costs for COVID-19 testing though the reality is completely different. People have obtained the bills for thousands of dollars for getting their diagnosis done and as everything is happening quickly, insurance companies are changing their policies and the details might require some time to be known for the policy holders.

    Thus, you will have to perform COVID-19 PCR test and know if you are already a carrier of this deadly disease.

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