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The Accuracy of Rapid Antigen Tests for COVID-19: What We Know So Far

As the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, more businesses require their employees to be tested for the virus. Rapid antigen tests are often used to provide results in minutes. However, there is limited information available on the accuracy of these tests.

Read further and discover the accuracy of rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.

How Accurate Are These Tests, and Who Should Be Getting Them Done?

COVID rapid antigen tests are used to test for the presence of the COVID-19 virus. These tests can provide results in minutes, much faster than the PCR test, which is the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19.

 

The accuracy of rapid antigen tests in Brisbane varies depending on the specificity and sensitivity of the test. Sensitivity refers to the test's ability to identify those who have the virus as accurately as possible. Specificity refers to the test's ability to correctly identify those who do not have the virus.

 

Overall, rapid antigen tests have lower sensitivity than PCR tests. This means that there is a higher chance of false negatives with rapid antigen tests. A false negative occurs when the test tells someone they do not have the virus when they do.

 

Nevertheless, rapid antigen tests can still help identify those positive for COVID-19. These tests can be used to screen employees before they enter the workplace. This can help to reduce the spread of the virus.

 

However, it is important to note that rapid antigen tests in Melbourne should not be used as the sole basis for diagnosis. Those who test positive on a rapid antigen test should still get a PCR test to confirm the results.

 

Who Should Get Tested?

There are a few different scenarios where rapid antigen testing can be helpful.

 

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested as soon as possible. This is true whether you use a rapid antigen or a PCR test. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can isolate yourself and prevent the spread of the virus.
  • You should also get tested if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. This is especially important if you are showing symptoms of the virus. Rapid antigen testing can help identify positive cases and prevent the virus from spreading.
  • Rapid antigen testing can also be used to screen employees before they enter the workplace. 

 

What Happens If the Test Comes Back Positive for COVID-19 Infection?

You should isolate yourself immediately if the test returns positive for COVID-19 infection. This will help to prevent the spread of the virus. You should also contact your doctor and let them know about your diagnosis.

 

Your doctor will likely recommend you get a PCR test to confirm the rapid antigen test results. They will also guide you on how to care for yourself and what steps you need to take to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

If you have COVID-19, following your doctor's instructions and isolating yourself from others helps prevent the virus's spread and keep yourself and others safe.

 

What Are Rapid Diagnostic Tests for COVID-19?

As the name suggests, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for COVID-19 are designed to provide quick results. These tests can diagnose an infection in people showing symptoms of the disease.

 

There are two types of RDTs currently available: polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR or RT- PCR) and antigen tests. RT-PCRs detect the presence of the virus's genetic material, whilst antigen tests detect proteins found on the surface of the virus.

 

Both types of RDTs have their advantages and disadvantages. RT-PCRs are considered more accurate than antigen tests but can take longer to provide results. Antigen tests, on the other hand, are generally faster but may be less accurate.

 

The speed and accuracy of RDTs are likely to improve as more research is conducted and more experience is gained in using these tests. In the meantime, however, RDTs can provide valuable information for people suspected of having COVID-19.

 

Can You Have COVID-19 But Test Negative?

It is possible to have COVID-19 and test negative on an RDT. This can happen for several reasons.

 

Firstly, it takes time for the virus to reproduce sufficiently to be detected by an RDT. It means someone who has recently been infected with the virus may not yet test positive.

 

Secondly, the accuracy of RDTs can vary depending on the type of test used and the person's circumstances. In some cases, a false negative result may occur.

 

Thirdly, people with a mild or asymptomatic infection may produce too few viruses to be detected by an RDT. This means that someone infected but not showing any symptoms may still test negative.

 

Next, some RDTs may not be able to detect all the strains of the virus that are currently circulating. Someone infected with a new or emerging virus strain may test negative on an RDT.

 

Overall, it is important to remember that RDTs are not perfect. They can miss some infections, particularly in the early stages of the disease.

 

If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms of the disease, you should get tested as soon as possible. If you test negative, you should self-isolate and seek further advice from a healthcare professional.

 

If you test positive, you should follow the advice of your local health practitioner. This may include self-isolating, seeking further medical advice and informing people you have been in close contact with.

 

Dexcon | Leading Medical PPE Supplier in Australia

 

As we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19, everyone must take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. One key step is getting yourself tested if you think you may have been exposed. 

If you’re looking for quality PPE solutions, including COVID-19 antigen rapid testing kits across Australia and the world, check us out at Dexcon. Our rapid antigen kits are reliable so you can get your test results as quickly as possible. 

Contact us for more information.

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