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This article is more than 5 month old.

Which COVID-19 test should you take?

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While the RT-PCR test delivers result in a day or two, the DIY gives results in 15 minutes. But the PCR results are far more accurate than the DIY kit.

Which COVID-19 test should you take?
Should one opt for a nasal swab to test for COVID-19 or take the test at home with a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit? While the RT-PCR test delivers result in a day or two, the DIY gives results in 15 minutes. But the PCR results are far more accurate than the DIY kit.
Dr John Brooks, chief medical officer of the COVID-19 response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said, "The best test is the test you can get."
Before one goes ahead and gets tested, Dr Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security says, ask yourself this question, "Are you asking, 'what am I sick with?' Or are you asking, 'am I somebody who can be a carrier without symptoms?"
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Dr Adalja suggests getting a PCR test if it is the "what am I sick with" query. A PCR test is a molecular test that detects genetic material of the virus using polymerase chain reaction technology. This can be done for anyone who is travelling abroad.
The antigen tests or the rapid test is also recommended if you are contagious. The drawback here is, it may not detect the virus while incubating but can only detect when one becomes contagious. One can stock up these tests at home and urge others to use it too before they set out for say a dinner or a wedding.
Dr Brooks though cautions that you may get a false positive or a false negative depending on the test and the timing. To be sure, if one suspects the result, do another test. It is advised for one to take a test before boarding a plane and when visiting elderly people.
Every doctor recommends masks and physical distancing apart from getting vaccinated at the earliest.
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