The ongoing global pandemic has shaken the world in many ways. Many businesses have shut down, stringent government rules have sprung into action, and countless lives across the world have been affected by an invisible enemy. Nowadays, testing for COVID-19 is mandatory for many places and activities, as this ensures whether or not a person has the virus and needs to be isolated.
There are a few ways to detect a person’s past or present infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of the tests that are becoming increasingly popular nowadays is the rapid antigen test, which is capable of a high degree of accuracy and fast results. In this guide, we’ll explore all there is to know about this procedure.
What Are the Procedures Involved in the COVID-19 Antigen Test?
COVID-19 antigen tests are quick and easy, and the process is straightforward. It involves a swab going into the back of a person’s nose or throat and collecting a sample of mucus. Afterwards, the swab must be submerged into a liquid to dissolve the mucus and release the virus. The liquid will then be put onto a test slide with antibodies.
If the COVID-19 virus is present, the antibodies on the slide will begin to cling to the virus’s outer proteins. This reaction is not directly observable, so there needs to be a second mixture of antibodies applied to the slide.
The second set of antibodies contain dyes that make them visible to the naked eye. Some may be detectable under fluorescent lights. If there are viral proteins (antigens) in the mixture, the dyes will be more visible, and that indicates that the patient has a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Using At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests
Some people prefer to order COVID-19 antigen home test kits by mail and do it in their houses rather than at a screening facility. The kits involve all the necessary tools, and individuals only need to follow the following procedures:
- Insert the sterile swab deep into the nasal cavity and collect the mucus sample. Afterwards, carefully remove it.
- Place the swab inside the extraction tube, then press in the arrow-indicated area. Rotate it according to the instructions, then remove it again.
- Seal the tube nozzle with the cap, then apply the sample to the cassette well.
The result should show up around the time stated on the manual, which is typically around 15 to 30 minutes. Similar to pregnancy tests, a positive result will show two lines (test and control lines), while a negative result will only show the control line. Some newer devices will display a digital “positive,” “negative,” or “invalid” message instead.
When To Get Tested
If you are working in crowded public areas, have attended a large gathering, or have come in close contact with a person with COVID-19 symptoms, it’s best to get the test right away. Your employer or healthcare professional may also require you to get tested.
Get a COVID-19 Home Test Kit in the UK
Getting tested for COVID-19 is the norm nowadays, as it’s the best way to help stop the spread of this deadly and highly contagious disease. The rapid antigen test is a quick, easy, and effective way to determine the presence of the virus, and you can now administer it right at the comfort of your home by ordering kits online.
If you’re looking for a home antigen test in the UK, PCR Labs UK has you covered. We’ll provide you with quality test kits right at your doorstep, ensuring secure results and fast delivery. Contact us and get yours today!