With multiple tests available for diagnosing the COVID-19 infection, the confusion between the type of tests is understandable.
If you also have doubts, this article may help clear them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When should one get the antibody test done? And what is its significance?
Antibody tests are usually done after you recover from COVID-19. A healthcare professional will draw blood from the arm or a finger prick. They will test the blood for antibodies, which are essential for fighting the virus.
A positive test indicates that you were infected with COVID-19. It may also suggest that you have immunity. However, there isn’t enough evidence to prove whether having these antibodies protects you from reinfection.
The result of the tests also depends on the stage when you get tested. For instance, if you get tested early in the infection before your body has started producing antibodies, the test won’t be able to detect them.
It is best to wait for at least 14 days after the onset of the symptoms to take this test.
Another importance of the antibody tests is that it makes you eligible to donate plasma. This plasma can help those suffering from a severe COVID-19 infection.
- What tests help diagnose COVID-19?
There are two main types of tests:
- PCR test: A type of molecular test that detects the presence of viral genetic proteins. Although it may take up to 48 hours for the result, the tests are highly accurate and are considered the gold standard of COVID-19 testing.
- Antigen test: This test detects specific viral proteins. The test provides results within a few minutes, but the chances of false-negative results are high. This means that you may get a negative result even if you are infected by the virus.
- What can I do if I want to get a test done?
You can connect with your state or local health department. For instance, if you are looking for COVID testing in Tustin, you can visit the Tustin, CA website to get the details on testing. You can also discuss this with your doctor, and they’ll help you with the centers available for COVID testing.
- Can antibody and diagnostic tests curb the spread of COVID-19?
A simple answer to this question is “Yes”.
The diagnostic tests allow people with a positive result to get care earlier. They also allow quicker tracing of the contacts, allowing them to self-isolate sooner to help stop the spread of the infection.
With this said, no test is 100% accurate. It may be possible to get a negative result when you are actually infected. It’s thus essential to follow preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask when required.
- Who should get tested?
Your healthcare provider may advise you to get tested if you have common symptoms, including:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
Not everyone with an infection is symptomatic. It is best to consult your doctor if you are unwell, even if you’re vaccinated.
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