Various Types of COVID-19 Test and Their Importance

Various Types of COVID-19 Test and Their Importance

Learn about COVID-19 testing, including the several types of tests, who should be tested, how to get tested, and the significance of the COVID test.

Taking a COVID-19 test is vital as this is what enables you to find if you have the virus or not. And then, you can isolate yourself from others if you have the virus, so you don’t spread it. But what is an antibody test? 

Unfortunately, most people tend to confuse antibody testing with COVID-19 testing. At least you now know what the COVID-19 test looks for. And an antibody or serology test can only happen after an infected person has cleared the COVID-19 virus. It also detects if a person has developed antibodies after recovering from the virus. And after vaccination against it.  

Types of COVID-19 Tests

One type of COVID-19 test that detects an infection at the time of the test is the viral test. As the name suggests, this test looks for viral infection. The viral tests include Antigen or Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs). 

Two Common Types Of Viral Tests

Safety precautions such as masking, maintaining physical distance, and getting COVID-19 tests are necessary risk-reduction measures for the SARS-COV-2 virus. 

Which tests should you go for? Do you go for antibody testing or COVID-19 tests? We’ll delve into these to help you understand what to expect and which COVID- test to choose. 

Rapid and lab tests are two viral tests that use mouth or nose sample collection. 

Rapid Test- As the name suggests, rapid tests are quick tests that give results in minutes. The rapid test is ideal for individuals who do not show symptoms of COVID-19. You can self-test or get tests in several other places, such as a pharmacy and not necessarily a hospital. 

Laboratory Tests- RT-PCR detects the presence of specific genetic material in a pathogen using a nuclear-derived method. It’s a sophisticated technology that uses unique markers, and scientists can see these materials immediately during the process. On the contrary, conventional RT-PCR only gave the results after a few days.  

When Is Antibody Necessary?

First, it’s prudent to understand “what is an antibody test? So, this is a test that checks if someone has formed antibodies in the body after 14 days of COVID-19 virus detection. It can also tell if someone has ever unknowingly had the virus in his system. 

What Is A Virus?

A virus consists of a microscopic package of genetic material usually surrounded by a molecular envelope. And this material can be either deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA).

DNA contain a two-strand molecule that you can find in all organisms such as viruses, plants, and animals

RNA- it’s a one-strand molecule that transmits or copies parts of the genetic code into proteins. And this is to synthesize and carry out functions that can keep developing the organisms. 

What are Antibodies?

When we talk of antibodies, this refers to proteins made by your immune system to help fight infection. They give you immunity and protect you from getting sick even in the future.

Antibody testing can check if you’ve ever had a past infection. And it also helps the researchers know how human immune systems protect against the virus. It also allows them to learn about population-level protection. Sometimes if you get these tests after vaccination, it’s possible to test positive, depending on the serology test that you choose to take. 

After you’ve had the SARS-CoV-2 virus before, having a serology test can find if your body created antibodies. These typically form after getting vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Antibody should not determine

  • A current infection
  • If a person needs to get a booster after the COVID-19 test
  • If a person needs to isolate after having a suspected COVID-19 

In Conclusion

COVID-19 tests help determine whether a person has the SARS-CoV-2 virus or whether he is showing the COVID-19 symptoms. And this is critical as it allows a person to isolate and curb the spread of this virus. And we’ve seen different types of tests, such as real-time RT-PCR, which is highly sensitive and reliable. However, it can’t tell if someone had a past infection, but you can do this with antibody testing.

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