Are Rapid Covid Tests Reliable?

What Is A Rapid Covid Test And Is It Reliable?

A great deal has been debated with reference to the current upsurge of coronavirus globally. The outburst of covid happened in China in 2019. Since then, the world is moving with fear and anguish battling the epidemic. Testing and vaccination are our biggest instruments to fight the pandemic. One amongst the testings is the rapid test but are rapid covid tests reliable, this is the biggest question. Many doubts are still prevalent making the picture vague and more uncertain. As guided by various health experts, proper scanning and scrutinizing the patients is the only way to curb the spread of Coronavirus. In this wake let us try to know the efficacy and other related information about the rapid covid-19 tests.

What Is The Rapid Diagnostic Test For Covid 19?

Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) is a clinical test that is quick and easy to detect the covid-19 virus. The sample is collected from the respiratory tract of a person to identify the viral antigens related to the covid 19 viruses in our body.

The test can be easily performed at;

  • Home
  • Pharmacy
  • Doctors’ office
  • School clinics
  • Care facilities
  • Airports

Rapid tests are;

  • Portable
  • Easy to carry out with no complicated set-up
  • Less costly in comparison to the standard laboratory tests
  • Does not require a health specialist to carry out the test
  • Speedy and quick declaring reports in a very short span of time.

In support of countries during the pandemic, UNICEF introduced a new low budget rapid antigen test for covid-19 diagnosis performed in proper laboratories. The rapid test kit is also approved by the WHO into the UNICEF product procurement list and is now available through the UNICEF supply catalogue.

Why Is The Test Done?

The early detection of Covid-19 infection is very crucial to cease the escalation of coronavirus. People with the suspected infection must be aware quickly whether they are infected or not. If yes proper procedure and steps must be followed like self-isolation, treatment, informing the close contact persons etc. to carry out activities to suppress the further spread. Presently positive coronavirus cases are confirmed by a laboratory test. The name of the test is RT-PCR that uses specialized apparatus to perform the test. Most often the report arrives within 24 hours of collecting the sample. However, the rapid test is a speedy detection test for coronavirus. No specific and formal equipment is required to carry out the tests. In a rapid antigen test, the reports may come within 15 minutes. Approved by the CDC, the rapid test is easy to access for many people and is a quick result method.

How Reliable Are The Rapid Covid Test?

Although the rapid covid test is very fast the results are not generally accounted to be accurate as compared to the RT-PCR test. The real-time RT-PCR is performed in proper clinical labs with trained health professionals. Whereas, rapid antigen tests are trusted to replace the RT-PCR only when performed on people with the covid-19 symptoms. Rapid tests are beneficial in emergency situations. It has been noticed even after getting a negative report of covid through a rapid test, the suspected patient may still be covid positive.

How Accurate Are The Rapid Tests?

Antigen rapid test is a method of detecting a covid positive infection with SARS-CoV-2. The test is based on a sample that is collected by swabbing inside the throat and nose. These tests generally are inaccurate and they provide the result in 15 to 20 minutes. These can be taken as the first step towards knowing the presence of the virus but in order to confirm it is best to go for other tests also.

How Is The Test Done?

The suspected covid patient’s nose or throat is inserted with a cotton swab. The mucus and cells are then collected. As the last step, the sample is generally applied to a strip that changes the shade if the report is positive.

What Is False-Positive Rapid Covid Test?

Rapid antigen tests scarcely declare a false positive report. A false positive report is a situation when you test positive for covid-19 and you don’t carry the infection.

What Are False-Negative Rapid Covid Tests?

A false negative covid test means the report that shows you don’t have coronavirus and you are negative. However, this is not true but in reality, the patient is covid positive.

Although there are still doubts regarding whether are covid rapid tests reliable or not it is better to go for them if you have doubts or experience any covid symptoms.