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COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests: Everything You Need to Know

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, more and more people are looking for ways to protect themselves and their families. One way that you can help prevent the spread of the virus is by getting a rapid antigen test.

But what are these tests, and what do they involve?

What Are COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)?

COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are a new type of test that can help detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus. These tests are different from PCR tests, which look for the genetic material of the virus. Instead, rapid antigen tests in Melbourne look for proteins that are found on the surface of the virus.

The advantage of these tests is that they can be performed quickly and do not require the use of special equipment. They are also less expensive than PCR tests. However, they are not as accurate as PCR tests and may produce false negatives.

What Do They Test For?

The COVID-19 rapid antigen tests detect pieces of the virus called antigens. Antigens are proteins that are found on the surface of viruses and bacteria. The test looks for these antigens in a sample taken from your nose or throat. If the test detects them, it means you have an active infection with the virus.

The test is not perfect, however. It can sometimes give false-positive results, meaning it says you have the virus when you don't. This is more likely to happen if you test positive for other respiratory viruses, such as the flu.

The test can also give false-negative results, meaning it says you don't have the virus when you do. This is more likely to happen if you test early in your infection before there are enough antigens present for the test to detect.

If you test positive on an at-home rapid COVID antigen test kit in Australia, your health care provider will likely order a PCR test to confirm the result. A PCR test is more accurate than a rapid antigen test, but it takes longer to get the results.

How Long Does It Take To Get the Results Back?

The results of a COVID-19 rapid antigen test can be available in as little as 15 minutes. However, it is important to note that the accuracy of these tests can vary depending on several factors. For example, the test may be less accurate if the person being tested has a very low level of the virus in their system.

Additionally, the test may be less accurate if it is not performed correctly. It is therefore important to speak with a healthcare professional about the accuracy of the test before relying on the results.

How Accurate Are These COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid increase in the use of COVID rapid antigen tests for the detection of the virus. These tests are appealing because they can provide results within minutes, but there is some debate about how accurate they are.

According to ABC News Australia, rapid antigen tests in Brisbane need to meet the stringent performance requirement set by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. It means that they need to reach at least 80 percent on clinical sensitivity and at least 98% on clinical specificity.

What Should You Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19?

Here are some things you should do if you test positive for COVID-19:

  1. Isolate yourself. It is important that you isolate yourself from other people in your home and avoid contact with them as much as possible.
  2. Contact your local health department. The local health department will be able to provide you with information about how to best protect yourself and others and will also be able to help you connect with resources you may need.
  3. Stay home. This will help to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
  4. Avoid contact with people who are at high risk for serious illness. High-risk for serious illnesses like the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions should keep a good distance, if you’re with them at home, to protect them from getting infected.
  5. Seek medical care if you are experiencing symptoms. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, seeking medical care and help ensures that you receive the best possible treatment.

For more information, contact your local health department or consult with your healthcare provider.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Taking these Tests?

One potential risk associated with taking a COVID-19 test is false-positive results. False-positive results can occur when the test detects the presence of the virus, even though the person does not have the virus. This can happen if the person has been exposed to the virus but has not yet developed symptoms. In most cases, false-positive results are not harmful. However, in some cases, they can lead to unnecessary anxiety or even treatment.

Another potential risk associated with taking a COVID-19 test is false-negative results. False-negative results can occur when the test does not detect the presence of the virus, even though the person has the virus. This can happen if the person has a very low level of the virus in their body. In most cases, false-negative results are not harmful. However, in some cases, they can lead to delayed diagnosis or treatment.

Dexcon | Leading Medical PPE Supplier in Australia

Rapid antigen tests are a great way to help keep the virus contained. They are easy to use and can be administered in just minutes.

Curious on where to buy rapid antigen test kit Australia?  

At Dexcon, we have all of the medical supplies you need to keep you safe and healthy. In addition to rapid antigen test kits, we also supply medical face shields, surgical masks, surgical gowns and other PPE and medical products. Be sure to get your supplies today so you are prepared for any potential infection.

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