The Covid-19 Disease has already hit for the second year, and things still don’t seem to slow down. With waves after waves and variants after variants, it is important to know how to protect ourselves, as well as our loved ones.
If you are informed to be a close contact or suspected to be in close contact, please isolate yourself. This is not just for your safety, but also for the safety of those around you.
One thing that we are most familiar with and have definitely gone through more than once is taking a Covid-19 test. Currently, there are 2 types of tests, namely: RT-PCR Tests(Polymerase Chain Reaction) and RTK (Rapid Test Kit). PCR is more accurate than RTK, however, it also takes longer to perform than RTK.
What is a PCR test
The polymerase chain reaction test for COVID-19 is a molecular test that looks for genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 virus, the viral cause of COVID-19. Scientists use the PCR test to amplify small amounts of DNA from samples into ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is then replicated until SARS-CoV-2 virus is detected if present. The PCR Test has been the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 since approved for use in February 2020, and it’s accurate and reliable.
What is RTK
Rapid Test Kits detects bits of proteins on the surface of the virus called antigens. RTK test kits typically take only 15 to 30 minutes. The most accurate time to test is a few days (Typically 3-5 days) after the start of your symptoms, when the largest amount of virus is present in your body.
This infographic (Source from: Shayanne Gal/Insider) clearly articulates when is the best to perform which tests. RT-PCR test is able to detect when the viral load (amount of virus in your body) is still considered low, whereas RTK can only detect if the viral load has crossed a certain threshold.
Hence, the antigen test is also known as a screening test, with the PCR is also commonly known as a confirmatory test. If you are unsure which test you should take when you are exhibiting covid-19 symptoms (Such as loss of taste, shortness of breath, sore throat or cough), please consult your nearest clinic/testing center.
If you need to stock up on Rapid Test Kits, feel free to browse our list of Covid-19 Home Test Kits. Take Care and Be Safe.