Depending on the stages of COVID, there are tests that can help in the diagnosis, recovery or future prevention of COVID. The information given below regarding the different test options for COVID would help you in deciding which test is more relevant for you:
1. Covid RT-PCR Test
This test is also known as the “Molecular test” or a “RNA test”. If you’re looking to detect whether you currently have an active COVID infection, this test is recommended for the same purpose. It is highly accurate in terms of its results. The Covid RT-PCR test process involves the taking of a nasal swab or a throat swab. The turnaround time for the results could take a couple of minutes or a few days. At-home testing kits for the same have also been made available. If the test comes out positive in your case, you may need to self-isolate or quarantine till you’re tested negative for the same.
2. Antigen Test
This test is also called the “Rapid test”. The turnaround time of this test is something that sets it apart from the rest of the tests available in the market. It is the quickest test to provide results as compared to the other tests. It is used to screen a large number of people and is now used at airports for the same purpose. This test also involves a swab being taken, but the results show in about 60 mins or less. Although these tests are pretty accurate, they could miss out on detecting an active COVID infection. You may experience certain side effects post-COVID infection as well, such as breathing problems or digestion-related issues like piles or constipation. You do not need to go to a lab to get the Antigen Test done, you may get it done at the office of your healthcare provider.
3. Antibody Test
The Antibody Test for COVID is also commonly called a “Serology test” or a “Blood Test”. Like the name suggests, the COVID Antibody Test is used to detect if there are antibodies for COVID in your body. It determines if you have been affected by the coronavirus any time in the past. Unlike the previous two tests for COVID, the Antibody or Serology Test doesn’t have at-home testing. The COVID Antibody Test process involves taking a sample of the blood either drawn from the vein in the hand or using a finger prick for the same purpose. This process is performed at a lab and the turnaround time for the results is usually a couple of days, which makes it the longest turnaround time. Lately, healthcare centres such as hospitals and certain doctors’ offices are equipped with getting this test result approximately under 15 minutes. Based on your purpose of taking any one of these COVID tests, you may opt for one.