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COVID-19 and PCR Testing

The nose swab PCR test for COVID-19 is the most accurate and reliable test for diagnosing COVID-19. A positive test means you likely have COVID-19. A negative test means you probably did not have COVID-19 at the time of the test. Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

PCR Test

This tests for the presence of the actual virus’s genetic material or its fragments as it breaks down. This is the most reliable and accurate test for detecting active infection.

Antigen Rapid Test

This test detects bits of proteins on the surface of the virus called antigens. Antigen rapid tests, taking only 15 to 30 minutes but are less accurate than a PCR test. Rapid antigen tests are most accurate when used within a few days of the start of your symptoms, which is when the largest amount of virus is present in your body. Because this test is not as accurate as a PCR test, if an antigen test is negative, your healthcare provider may order a PCR test to confirm the negative test result.

Antibody (Serology) Test

This tests detects if you’ve had an immune response (antibodies) to the virus. This means that you’ve had the virus and your body (immune system, specifically antibodies) has mounted an attack to fight it. The test is detecting those antibodies. It typically takes about a week after being infected for enough antibodies to develop to be detected in your blood. For this reason, this test shouldn’t be used to diagnose an active infection.

FAQs

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is performed to detect genetic material
from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a
virus if you are infected at the time of the test. The test could also detect
fragments of virus even after you are no longer infected.

A PCR test for COVID-19 is a test used to diagnosis people who are currently
infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The
PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it’s the
most accurate and reliable test.

There are three key steps to the COVID-19 PCR test: 

1) Sample collection, 2) Extraction, and 3) PCR.

1. Sample collection is done using a swab to collect respiratory material found

in your nose. A swab contains a soft tip on a long, flexible stick that is
inserted into your nose. There are different types of nose swabs including
nasal swabs that collect a sample immediately inside your nostrils and
nasopharyngeal swabs that go further into the nasal cavity for collection.
Either type of swab is sufficient for collecting material for the COVID-19
PCR test. After collection, the swab is sealed in a tube and then sent to a
laboratory.

2. When a laboratory technologist receives the sample, they perform a
process called extraction, which isolates genetic material from the sample
including genetic material from any virus that may be present.

3. The PCR step then uses special chemicals and a PCR machine, called a
thermal cycler, which cause a reaction to occur that makes millions of
copies of a small portion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material.
During this process, one of the chemicals produces a fluorescent light if
SARS-CoV-2 is present in the sample. This fluorescent light is a “signal”
that is detected by the PCR machine and special software is used to
interpret the signal as a positive test result.

Basically, there are two types of tests, diagnostic tests and antibody tests.
Diagnostic tests tell you if you have an active (current) COVID-19 infection.
Antibody tests tell you that you already had COVID-19.

Get testing kits sent directly to you without payments, insurance, and most importantly: worries.

We can provide no-cost at-home PCR nasal swab tests. The nose swab PCR test for COVID-19 is the most accurate and reliable test for diagnosing COVID-19. A positive test means you likely have COVID-19. A negative test means you probably did not have COVID-19 at the time of the test. We work with some of the most reliable labs across the globe to provide the most efficient results to you in the most effective manner.