What Is Rapid COVID Testing?
The novel COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2, virus has quickly altered our day-to-day operations. Coronavirus cases need to be thoroughly handled from start to finish, and the very start is in our COVID-19 testing abilities. While everyone is aware of coronavirus, they may not be as aware of the testing options available. In a time of uncertainty, it is a huge relief to know we can opt for COVID-19 testing, and different types of tests at that. While many people are aware of the well-known Nasal Swab PCR Test and blood prick antibody test, Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Tests are an option many do not know of, or do not fully understand. While we hear of COVID-19 updates on the daily, we aren’t necessarily told of the in-and-outs of testing protocols, or at least not in layman’s terms.
So, what exactly is rapid COVID testing? Rapid antigen tests are typically employed in order to diagnose respiratory pathogens, such as the common flu or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). These tests have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA to administer the tests to detect COVID-19 antigens. Rapid COVID testing is almost a mix between the nasal swab accuracy and quick blood prick test, as it uses a nasal swab that can be collected from the comfort of your own home, along with a small device that is used to detect proteins from SARS-CoV-2. These proteins will show potential antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. Antibodies are a normal immune system response that is kicked off when foreign invaders are detected. The antibodies associated with the COVID-19 virus are known as IgG and IgM. If infected with COVID-19 your body will make what is referred to as an early antibody, known as the IgM. IgM antibodies are detected within the initial three to five days, while the IgG is a long-term antibody meant to indicate a certain immunity to the virus. Both the IgG and IgM antibodies are analyzed by the rapid COVID test.
Rapid COVID testing is an excellent solution for those who may have underlying health conditions – it offers a safe, convenient, and accurate means to give you peace of mind. As expected during a global pandemic, laboratories are bogged down with tests, COVID and non-COVID related, making lab work results extremely backed up. It can take up to three weeks to receive a nasal swab test result back from the lab. Unlike typical swab testing, the rapid COVID test results are ready in as little as 20 minutes or less and provide a 98% level of accuracy. No need for the grueling anticipation of having to wait weeks on end to obtain your results!
In the midst of chaos and concern, it is comforting to know we have an alternative test available to ease our worries. Afterall, if you are feeling unwell, how long would you be willing to wait to know what it is that is ailing you? Quick results are key to: beginning accurate treatment that can very well shorten the virus’ lifespan, allow the infected to quarantine sooner, let others you may have been in close contact with know that you have been infected, and recover quicker! These type of COVID tests will also aid us in accurately representing the positive cases of COVID-19 illnesses.
Overall, a rapid COVID test will inform you if you have the virus or not – it is as simple as that! So if you’re starting to feel a bit under the weather and would like a quick answer, why not try the rapid testing? The test seems to live up to it’s name!