What You Need To Know About The Covid Testing Procedure
COVID-19 is an infectious disease that was initially discovered in 2019 in Wuhan, China. This disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Till date, COVID-19 has spread across the globe, infecting millions. Until the pandemic completely abates, we need to stay informed of the latest developments in order to stay safe. In this article, we will talk about the COVID testing procedure options available today.
Looking at how COVID test is done
There are different options of tests available to diagnose COVID-19 safely and quickly. Let’s take a look at them.
RT PCR test for COVID-19
RT PCR stands for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. It is a type of PCR test for COVID-19. In an RT-PCR test, a fluid sample from the patient is tested for genetic material from the novel coronavirus. The fluid sample may be taken from the nose or from the throat with the help of a long swab. You might experience a slight bit of discomfort while the sample is being taken. The sample is then carefully stored and transported to a laboratory for testing with the results being given in 24 hours, though sometimes they may take longer.
A positive test result indicates that you currently have COVID-19. You will need to take the medicines that your doctor prescribes and self-isolate until you get well. In some cases, patients need to be hospitalized for treatment of their symptoms. A negative test result indicates that you do not have a COVID-19 infection; however, there have been cases of a false negative too.
An antibody test helps you know whether you have the antibody proteins to fight COVID-19. The presence of antibodies indicates that you may have developed them from a past infection of COVID-19 or that you have antibodies due to your vaccine. This test does not indicate a current infection but rather shows whether you may have had COVID-19 in the past.
These days, you can buy an antibody home test kit that delivers results in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
The antigen test is used to check for an infection of COVID-19. This test looks for the presence of tiny molecules called antigens. Antigens originate from bacteria or viruses. The presence of antigens in the body activates your immune system to fight infection.
A COVID-19 antigen test is also carried out with the help of a fluid sample taken from the nose. You can get rapid home antigen test kits that deliver results in just 15 minutes. A positive test result indicates that you do have a COVID-19 infection while a negative test result indicates that you do not have an infection. Do communicate the results to your doctor. If they feel you may have a false negative result, they might recommend further testing.
COVIFIND: Your one-stop DIY antigen test kit
COVIFIND is a DIY antigen test kit that delivers results in just 15 minutes. With COVIFIND, you can safely test for COVID-19 from your home. This test kit comes along with simple instructions on how to use it, so you can collect your own sample and know your status with ease.
The COVIFIND kit contains 1 sterile nasal swab, 1 pre-filled buffer tube, 1 test device, 1 disposal bag, and 1 instruction manual.
You can perform the antigen test in four steps:
Step 1: Take the nasal swab and collect a sample
Step 2: Dip this sample into the solution provided
Step 3: Squeeze out four drops of this solution onto the test device
Step 4: Get your results in just 15 minutes
You receive your results through an app and these results are easy to read. If both the ‘C’ and ‘T’ lines appear on the test, the result is positive. If only the ‘C’ line appears, the result is negative. If neither the ‘C’ nor the ‘T’ lines appear, the test is invalid and needs to be done again.
COVIFIND is ICMR-approved and CE certified test kit. This kit has been made by Meril, a global medical technology company based in India.
Advantages of a home COVID-19 test kit
The pandemic has necessitated social distancing in order to curb the spread of infection. DIY test kits for COVID-19 offer you the convenience of testing for infection from the safety of your home.
Moreover, a home test kit for COVID-19 is especially useful for senior members of your household who are unable to step out to a laboratory for a test. These easily available kits will also increase the accessibility of COVID-19 tests and encourage more people to get themselves tested.
COVIFIND test is validated and confirmed to detect the WHO labelled specified COVID-19(SARS-CoV-2) variants including newly emerged DELTA (B.1.617.2) and OMICRON (B.1.1.529) without any deviation and impact on its defined testing protocol & performance.
Are DIY test kits accurate?
DIY COVID-19 test kits have been designed with the latest technology. You can, therefore, expect highly accurate results. In some cases, however, you may not get accurate results if the kit is not used correctly. For example, if you leave the samples in too long before checking the result, you may not get the right results.
You can always opt to confirm the test results of a home antigen test kit by going for an RT-PCR COVID-19 test too. If you want to get an RT-PCR test, you can discuss your concerns with your doctor and have them recommend how and when you can safely get tested.
Before using a home antigen test kit, make sure to read the accompanying instructions carefully. This way, you can aim for accurate results. Also, do dispose off all material safely once the test is completed.
Who should do a COVID-19 test?
A vast majority of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. This means that the person has COVID-19 without any symptoms. If someone at home has been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, you may want to get tested, even if you show no symptoms.
If you go outside daily for work, you might want to get a test done to check your status. This is especially important if you live with seniors who have comorbidities.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Now, that you are aware of the COVID testing procedure, you may wonder if you need to get tested. Anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 should ideally take a test in order to determine whether they are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Knowing your status can help you take the necessary steps to get treatment and isolate in order to avoid infecting others.
Here are the symptoms of COVID-19:
- Cough and sore throat
- Loss of taste and smell
- Body ache
In more serious cases, patients may find themselves unable to breathe. If you or a loved one are currently experiencing any of these symptoms do reach out to a doctor immediately. Untreated COVID-19 can prove to be very dangerous for patients with comorbidities.
These days, it is extremely easy to get an instant consultation with a doctor over video call. If you are worried about going out with your symptoms, you can contact your doctor from the safety of your home and follow their advice about how to get tested. You can even have a COVID-19 test arranged at home. This kind of convenience is especially useful for elderly patients or for anyone who is unable to leave their home.
Steps to take if you test positive
If you test positive for COVID-19, reach out to your doctor immediately. They will help you with the medicines you need for your symptoms. More patients who have more severe symptoms – such as a difficulty in breathing – may need too be hospitalized.
If your symptoms are mild and manageable at home, isolate yourself in another room of the house. Make sure to wear a mask and avoid sharing any household items like towels with other family members until you recover. Ask other family members to get themselves tested as well. Drink plenty of fluids and eat warm, nutritious meals to help your body recover from infection. Rest as much as you can. Get yourself tested again within the timeframe suggested by the doctor before you end quarantine.
Tips to stay safe from infection
The spread of Omicron has shown us that we cannot let our guard down and need to keep taking precaution against COVID-19.
- Wear a mask
Make sure to use a clean mask and wear it properly so that it covers your nose and mouth.
Before eating meals or touching your face, wash your hands with soap and water. If you do not have any soap and water at hand, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Disinfect all commonly touched surfaces at home, such as doorknobs, keyboards, taps, doorbells, and handles.
- Eat nutritious meals
It is important to nourish your body well so that your immune system can help you fight infection. Eat foods that boost the immune system, such as citrus fruits, spinach, broccoli, kiwis, and almonds. Adding turmeric and garlic to your meals can also help. You can ask your doctor whether you need any vitamin supplements.
The best way to keep fit is to get rest. Do not cut back on your hours of sleep. Maintain a proper and timely sleep schedule and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. Sleep can also help you relax and keep stress levels within control.
In the current pandemic, many of us have to work from home. This might cause you to neglect fitness. Make sure to take some time to exercise every day. You can try aerobics, yoga, or any other kind of fitness activity that you enjoy. There are many online classes that teach you exercises to stay fit at home.
Finally, if you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, do reach out to a medical facility to know how you can get your dose.
It is important for each and every one of us to do our part in staying safe from infection. By adhering to social distancing norms, we can contribute towards keeping infection rates low. Do take extra precaution if you live with senior family members who suffer from comorbidities. Do teach young children the importance of washing their hands and how to wear a mask. Finally, if you or a loved one is currently experiencing any symptoms, do reach out for immediate medical help and care.
Take care, wear a mask, and stay safe.