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Three different types of COVID-19 Tests

 There are a myriad of methods available to test for COVID-19. There are two methods that can be used to determine if someone has an active infection. They are called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen tests.


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 Because they are able to identify genetic material The PCR tests are considered to be the gold standard. These tests can be used in medical facilities, hospitals, doctors' offices, testing facilities, and other places. The lab will look at the nasal-swab specimen and then report the results within a few days.



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 The tests for antigen are performed to determine if an specific chemical is present in the body. However they don't directly document the infection. These tests can be done at a variety of locations, such as a doctor's practice, a school, a college or at home.




 

 A sample is taken using a cotton swab across the nose. Results are usually available within 15 minutes.


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 But, antigen tests are more susceptible to errors than PCR tests. The CDC says that antigen tests are not as susceptible to PCR tests than PCR tests, and therefore could miss early infections that the PCR test can detect.




 

 If you conduct an antigen test at the beginning phases of an infection before the virus has spread widely, the results could give a false negative.


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 Repeating tests for antigens is a good way to reduce the sensitivity. In a study released in September 2021 by The Journal of Infectious Diseases Researchers found that when they tested the infected college students and employees every three days, the rapid antigen tests identified 99 percent of infections which is on par with PCR tests.




 

 A third type of COVID-19 test is an antibodies test. It is blood test that will reveal the presence of COVID-19 previously. This test cannot tell the severity of your illness. This does not mean you'll never contract COVID-19 again if you have had it in the past.




 

 Brands of COVID-19 Rapid Tests for Home Use


 It is possible to now (or in the near future!) purchase four COVID-19 antigen test kits for free cost and perform them yourself at home.




 

 Abbott BinaxNOW is sold in two test packs costing around $24. After swabbing both nostrils you put the sample on a reactive strip in the form of a test card like in the video made by Abbott. Two lines are printed on the card, just like the pregnancy test. One line indicates that COVID-19 has been identified. Because antigen tests can give a false negative result if you take the test too early after having been exposed, the instructions call for using another test within the box within three days, and at minimum 36 hours from each other.

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 Quidel QuickVue is similar to the BinaxNOW but uses tubes instead of a card to produce results. The company also offers an instructional video. The results are made available within 10 minutes. The test is also offered in the form of a two-part package for $24 and includes instructions for repeating the test negative within three working days.


 Ellume needs a sample to be taken with a nasal swab , and then transferred to the strip which is then filled with processing fluid. The Bluetooth connection between the strip and the app is necessary. The results are displayed on the app within 15 minutes. Ellume is priced at around $40, and includes one test.