COVID-19 continues to grip the world, but as the UK struggles to increase its coronavirus testing capacity, we thought it was important to answer some of the key questions surrounding covid testing.
There are two broad categories of COVID-19 tests that currently exist, PCR tests and antibody tests.
PCR testing is used to see whether a patient has the virus at the time they are tested. The majority of tests that are being used both in the UK and across the globe are PCR tests. These tests use a nasopharyngeal swab sample taken from the nose and the throat which is then tested in a laboratory for signs of the virus RNA.
They identify the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid and diagnose whether the patient currently has the virus in their body. By detecting the viral RNA, they are able to diagnose COVID-19 in the very early stages of infection.
Where PCR tests identify the virus itself, antibody covid testing identifies your body’s response to the virus. These tests can say whether someone has had COVID-19 in the past. They work by identifying the presence of antibodies created when your body fights off the virus.
These tests require a blood sample, usually delivered through a finger prick.
If you test positive for COVID-19, it doesn’t affect your prognosis because there is currently no cure for the disease. It does however, allow you to protect others from infection.
If you test positive, you should self isolate for seven days after your symptoms first appear, unless you still have symptoms after 7 days, in which case you should continue to self isolate until your symptoms disappear.
Those in your household must self isolate for 14 days after you first showed symptoms. For full advice on what you should do if you show symptoms or test positive for coronavirus, visit the government’s coronavirus response page.
By taking a test that returns negative, you will know that you pose no danger to your family, friends or colleagues, although social distancing measures should still be observed.
When it comes to COVID-19, testing plays a vital role in how the global community deals with the virus.
Prevent the spread
Covid Testing is highly effective at preventing and restricting the spread of COVID-19 as it allows those who have the disease to be effectively isolated.
For medical reasons
Although there is no cure for COVID-19, testing helps doctors understand the disease that they are dealing with and helps them manage symptoms more effectively. If a patient presents in hospital with breathing difficulties, it’s helpful for doctors to confirm it’s COVID-19, as other causes could be more easily treated with medicines.
Establish trends within the community
The data gained from both antibody testing and PCR testing can tell us more about how the virus behaves and the dangers it poses for various sections of the community.
Antibody testing can offer the same kind of data, but more retrospectively and without the primary benefit of containing the virus. It will help identify risk trends, just like PCR testing, but this form of testing will really be useful if the antibodies are shown to offer long term immunity.
If you want to see how our COVID 19 PCR Testing can work for your business needs, get in touch today: