How do Covid-19 Tests Work?

Positive test results for the Covid-19 virus may be detectable as early as a few days after contact, but some people won’t find out until a week or so after they have contact with an infected patient. For this reason, it is important to know how to detect a positive Covid-19 test result.

Symptoms of Covid-19:

While businesses and homes are doing their best to keep up the cleanliness factor by constantly cleaning their homes using the different janitorial supplies online – there can still be small flaws which is aiding in the spread of Covid-19. The symptoms of Covid-19 can be very similar to that of a cold and the flu. This means that an individual will have a high body temperature, continuous cough, muscle aches, and exhaustion. However, these are just the basic symptoms; there are more on the list. For instance, one can have:

  • a loss or change to his sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • feeling fatigued

Note that some people can suffer quite severely, so it’s important to protect oneself and get tested at regular intervals to avoid passing it on.

Types of Covid-19 Tests

The covid-19 tests are divided into two major categories:

Viral tests

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is a disease that caused serious illness in humans and animals (no kidding!) in 2003. The virus causing it is Coronavirus, a type of virus related to the ones that cause colds.

Hence, this type of test is used to detect SARS-COV-2. It will tell if an individual already has an infection during the time of the test. It is called “viral” because the test is used to look for viral infection. The samples that are drawn in this test are taken from a person’s mouth or nose. It has two types:

  1. Rapid tests. Intended to help individuals and families facing serious health challenges, rapid tests can deliver prompt results that can be used to determine and understand underlying health conditions. Rapid tests are a fast and non-invasive alternative to the traditional bladder and blood tests, which allows people to get a diagnosis quickly, and feel more confident about how they are doing. This may include antigen tests and some form of Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs).
  2. Laboratory tests. Laboratory tests are often conducted to confirm a diagnosis of a disease or assist in analyzing an infection. Besides these, they can also aid in the treatment of a condition. Unlike the rapid test type, laboratory tests may take a couple of days to be completed and produce results. Sometimes, some of the said test results may seek confirmatory testing as well, just in case the first test wasn’t calibrated properly. Of course, all labs use something similar to these California calibration services to ensure fewer mistakes are made, but there is still some tiny room for error when millions of tests are being carried out. So, yes, this one can take a while before you get to see the results. It may include the RT-PCR test and other types of Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs).
Antibody tests

As said earlier, several types of tests can tell you if you have had a past infection with the virus that causes Covid-19. However, the most commonly performed type is the antibody or a Serology test. These are usually performed on the blood drawn from a vein. But sometimes the test can be performed on the urine also. Generally, it looks for the presence of antibodies from the virus. If you have been exposed to the virus, you have likely had antibodies in your blood. In a nutshell, the detection of any antibody in a person’s body can dictate the results. Currently, this test is growing in popularity as it appears to be more accurate than others.

The results of the Covid-19 tests are often confusing because they are not easy to interpret. For instance, the results of the tests may not be able to inform you whether you may have been exposed to a disease. They cannot tell you if exposure has occurred, but they can tell you if you have a specific antibody. In that regard, the tests are considered very accurate in diagnosing most infectious diseases, and the results are extremely useful in the treatment decision-making process.

In other words, COVID-19 tests are supposed to make testing for respiratory viruses easier and more accurate. They are designed to detect respiratory viruses associated with colds, flu, and sore throats. While to conduct a few tests, samples of fluids are taken from the patient’s nose or throat, others often require blood samples for determining if the patient is sick.

That said, those who are feeling under the weather and are showing one or two symptoms of Covid-19 should start following the health protocols and get themselves checked up by a doctor. Everybody should remember that this virus is quite deadly and has been wreaking havoc for a long time now. Taking it lightly might, therefore, not be wise. Many people have already lost their lives due to this enemy who cannot be seen. So, it would be better to consider it dangerous.

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