Three kinds of COVID-19 testing

There are a myriad of methods available for testing COVID-19. Two main types can determine whether a person has an active infection: polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR) and antigen tests.

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 Because they search for genetic material The PCR tests are considered to be the most effective test. The tests are employed in hospitals, testing facilities or doctor's offices similar places. The lab will look at a nasal-swab sample and will report back within a few days.


 Antigen tests seek to detect the presence of a particular molecule that implies a current viral infection but do not record it in any way. They are performed in various settings, including a doctor's office, an office, schools, college as well as at home.

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 The sample is obtained using an swab of the nose and the results are reported quickly, generally within 15 minutes.


 However, antigen tests are more prone to error than PCR tests. The CDC says that antigen tests are less sensitive to PCR tests than PCR tests, meaning they might miss early infections that would a PCR test can be able to detect.

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 If you conduct an antigen test at the very beginning stages of an infection, before the virus has replicated in large numbers, the result may result in a false positive.


 Testing for antigens repeatedly, however, can help make up for the lower sensitivity. In a research study published in September 2021 of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers found that when they tested infected college students and employees every three days, fast antigen tests identified 98 % of the infections, which is on par with PCR tests.

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 A third type of COVID-19 test can be an antibody test. This test determines the possibility of having COVID-19 in the past. The test isn't able to determine if you're currently sick. This does not mean you won't get COVID-19 again even if had it in the past.


 Brands of Home Tests for COVID-19 Rapid

 Now, you can (or very soon!) purchase four COVID-19 antigen testing kits for free of cost, and then perform the tests yourself at home.


 Abbott BinaxNOW is sold in the form of a two-test package costing around $24. After cleansing both nostrils using the use of a cotton swab. Place the sample on a reactive strip. This procedure is illustrated in an Abbott video. Like a pregnancy test, two lines appearing on the card show that the test was positive; one of them indicates that COVID-19 was not detected. Because antigen tests can give a false negative result if you take the test too early after being exposed, the directions call for using the second test in the box within three days and at minimum 36 hours from each other.

 Quidel QuickVue works similarly to the BinaxNOW but utilizes an actual tube of solution instead of a card to produce results. The company provides a step-by-step video. Results are available in 10 minutes. The test is also available in two packages for $24 with instructions for repeating the test with a negative result within three working days.

 Ellume requires a sample to be taken by a nasal swab and transferred to a strip filled with processing fluid. The Bluetooth connection between the strip and the app is necessary. Results are displayed on the app in about 15 minutes. Ellume is priced at around $40. It comes with a single test included with every kit.