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PCR or Rapid Antigen Test: Which Should You Take?

Choosing between a PCR or rapid antigen test kit can be confusing. Both are accurate and reliable diagnostic tests but have different advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each test so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

COVID-19 and the Significance of Tests

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been an unprecedented global effort to develop tests to detect the virus. These tests are crucial in helping to control the spread of the disease and protect people who are most at risk.

Two main types of tests are being used to detect COVID-19: diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

Diagnostic tests are used to confirm whether a person currently has the virus. These tests can be carried out using a swab inside the nose or mouth, which is then sent for laboratory analysis.

Antibody tests are used to detect whether a person has had the virus in the past. These tests look for the body's antibodies and proteins in response to an infection.

The significance of these tests cannot be understated. They are vital in our fight against COVID-19 and will help to save lives.

Understanding the Differences Between PCR or Rapid Antigen Test

The two most common types of tests used to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen tests. Whilst both test for the viral genome, there are essential differences between the two that need to be understood to interpret results correctly.

  • PCR tests are the gold standard for virus detection as they are very accurate. They work by amplifying viral genetic material to detectable levels, meaning that even a small amount of genetic material can be detected. This makes PCR ideal for detecting the presence of the virus in the early stages of infection when levels of the viral genome are low. However, PCR tests can take several hours to days to get results, which may not be ideal for people who need to know their status quickly.
  • On the other hand, rapid antigen tests are designed to detect proteins specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These proteins are called antigens, which are produced when the virus replicates inside cells.

Rapid antigen tests can give results in as little as 15 minutes, which makes them a good option for people who need to know their status quickly. However, rapid antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, which means that they may not be able to detect the virus in the early stages of infection.

PCR and rapid antigen tests have their strengths and weaknesses, and neither is perfect. The best way to determine which test is proper for you is to talk to your healthcare provider.

When Should You Use a Rapid Antigen Test?

The rapid antigen test kit is a quick and easy way to test for the presence of a virus, such as the flu. It is not as accurate as other tests like the PCR test, but it can be helpful in certain situations.

Here are some circumstances when you might want to use a rapid antigen test kit.

  • If you have symptoms of a virus, such as the flu, and want to know if you have the virus, a rapid antigen test kit can quickly answer. The test is usually done with a swab of your nose or throat.
  • If you have been exposed to someone with a virus, and you want to know if you have the virus, a rapid antigen test kit can quickly answer.
  • If you recently traveled or are planning to travel overseas, you might want to get a rapid antigen test kit before your trip. This is because some countries require proof of a negative test before entry. You can also take a rapid antigen test after your trip, especially if you're showing symptoms.

COVID-19 Preventive Measures

It is vital to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Below are some things you can do:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Monitor your health closely and seek medical attention if you develop any symptoms.

Dexcon | Leading Medical Device and PPE Supplier in Australia

If you are looking at where to buy a rapid antigen test kit in Australia, look no further than Dexcon. We offer a wide range of test kits to help you stay safe and healthy during the pandemic.

Our COVID-19 test kits are easy to use and come with clear instructions. They are also affordable, so you can get the protection you need without breaking the bank. Most importantly, our test kits are highly accurate. This means that you can trust the results you get from them.

Get your supplies only at Dexcon.

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