Covid Testing And What To Expect From It
Nowadays, COVID-19 testing is a relatively common occurrence. Many people seek testing after being exposed to a person who has already tested positive for COVID-19 or after the development of COVID-19 symptoms.
Here is a bit of information about COVID testing and what you can expect from it.
How is a COVID-19 Test Performed?
The test requires a sample of fluid from the nose or throat or a collection of saliva. To gather the nasopharyngeal sample, a swab is inserted through the nostril and guided to the back of the throat. Less invasive nasal samples are taken by swabbing the area just inside the nostril. Salivary samples are obtained as a patient fills a small container with their saliva.
What Does the Test Detect?
There are two types of COVID-19 tests. The first is a polymerase chain reaction test, which looks for the genetic code of the virus. The code that is detected is not present in the body unless a person has been sick with COVID-19 and recovered or is still actively battling the virus.
The second type of COVID-19 test is an antigen test. This type of test is popular because it offers quick results. In fact, the results of an antigen test may be available within about an hour. Antigen tests are performed using nasal swabs. Instead of looking for genetic material, the antigen test detects viral proteins.
If You Have Covid Symptoms, When Should You Get Tested?
If you have developed symptoms of COVID-19, it is best to get a test as early as possible. The viral shedding is already high a couple of days before your symptoms become present. Additionally, the shedding remains high for the first few days after you notice symptoms of the disease.
If you have not developed any symptoms but believe that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it may be best to wait about a week after the exposure to be tested. Most people will be symptomatic or test positive within that one-week period.
If you are getting tested to meet travel requirements, be sure to get tested within the designated time frame.
Where Can You Receive a Test?
In most areas, there are multiple testing locations available. Your primary care doctor may be able to test you for the disease. Additionally, local health departments, emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, and pharmacies frequently offer COVID-19 testing. Also, some tests are available over the counter for home use.
If you would like to be tested for the disease, contact a COVID-19 testing facility to schedule an appointment.