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Understanding Rapid Antigen Tests

Due to the consistent rise of COVID cases globally in the past two years, health experts adopt measures to curb the spread of the virus. Fortunately, by providing vaccines, booster shots and testing kits, COVID-19 transmission has waned and is now at ease in most parts of the world. 

However, the problem hasn’t totally been eradicated as we have also learned that some people who contract COVID-19 may not show any symptoms at all, but they can still spread the virus to others. Therefore, it is so important for everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus. Wearing a mask, washing hands often and keeping a safe distance from one another are still a must.

Also, instant testing results like the rapid antigen tests are now popularly used to provide precaution and readiness whether for travel purposes, return to work requirements or early detection of symptoms of COVID-19.

How Do Rapid Antigen Tests Work?

Rapid antigen testing is a new type of testing that can be used to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus. This test is different from the traditional PCR test because it does not require a laboratory or special equipment. You can get the results within 10 to 30 minutes.

Rapid antigen tests can be done using a simple nasal swab or through an oral test. The results of the test are typically available within minutes, which makes it a convenient option for people who need to know their status quickly.

COVID rapid antigen tests are also relatively affordable, which makes them accessible to a wide range of people. 

By quickly identifying infected individuals, rapid antigen tests can help to prevent the spread of disease. Thus, rapid antigen tests can play a key role in ensuring that people have access to testing during a pandemic. Whilst these tests are not always accurate, they are still considered an effective tool in the fight against COVID-19 virus.

Types of Rapid Antigen Testing

Rapid antigen testing can be self-administered at home. Take note that the complete rapid antigen test instructions on how to use the testing kits at home are provided in the package, or you can check out your government’s official health website.

There are two ways to use rapid antigen tests: 

• Saliva/Oral Test

The suspected patient is to spit in a small tube or spit funnel where the saliva is collected and ready for testing. The collected saliva is combined with a buffer solution that is then squeezed in small amounts in the testing strip. For 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the package instructions, you can have the results ready.

• Nasal Swab

The difference in using nasal antigen testing is with the use of a swab. If you’re going to use it, you need to insert the soft end of the swab all the way to the nostril and move it around for 15 seconds. Then dip the swab into the solution provided by the testing kit, swirl it 10 times and close the cap. Carefully drop the solution onto the testing strip and wait for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the package instructions, not any later as to maintain the accuracy of the test. Once done, you can read the strips whether you are tested positive with COVID-19 or not.

It is wise not to eat, drink or even brush your teeth for 10 minutes before using the test to get accurate results when taking the saliva rapid antigen testing. Keep your hands clean by washing or using medical-grade gloves and check the expiration date of the testing kit. Also, maintain cleanliness around the testing area and properly discard the testing kit after use. It is important to do this in a secluded place where you can easily isolate yourself once tested positive for COVID-19.

When to Get Tested for Rapid Antigen?

There are several reasons to use rapid antigen tests.

  1. Related symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, fever, tiredness and loss of smell and taste—If you are showing these symptoms, the best action is to take rapid antigen testing right away. Preventing the spread of the virus is wise so as not to infect those who are weak and vulnerable.
  2. Return to work requirement—Offices nowadays adapted work from home and occasional work on site. To prevent asymptomatic people from walking around the office, human resources departments may require employees to get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 before coming back to work. 
  3. Travel purposes—In the latter part of 2021, some countries allow international travel given that the person has the necessary vaccines and testing that can vouch for the safety of all in the airline and the point of travel.

How Accurate Are Rapid Antigen Testing Results?

If you have followed the instructions on how to take rapid antigen tests, how will you read the results and what if it does not give any result?

The key is the strip similar to a pregnancy test strip. The test paper inside changes colour once there are antigens present. It means you are negative to COVID-19 when a line only shows next to ‘C’. If there is no line at all, it means that the test has failed, and you must take it again. If there are lines at both the ‘C’ and ‘T’, even if it’s just a faint line, it means you are positive and in need of isolation from the rest of your family. 

What does it mean if a rapid antigen test is false positive for COVID-19? Now, as mentioned, failed test results may be due to not following the steps or the proper time when to read the strip test. Reading the results before or after the given time will provide failed results like false positives or negatives. 

Once tested positive, proper protocols should be followed, such as days of isolation, proper use of masks and contacting your local government to inform them of your situation. You may again take the rapid antigen test after the given isolation period.

Where to Get Legitimate Rapid Antigen Tests?

Scientists are still learning about this new virus, but we do know that it can cause severe respiratory illnesses in people of all ages. The pandemic has affected life as we know it, forcing us to change the way we live, work and interact with others. By using legitimate rapid antigen testing kits, we can be safe to continue our life knowing that it is within easy access through Dexcon.

Through carefully selected procured PPE and antigen kits, Dexcon provides the necessary tool in preventing COVID-19 spread in Australia and the world. If you are in need of rapid antigen kits that are affordable and high quality, contact us today.

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