As COVID-19 is still rolling out, there is much confusion regarding the right time to get tested. At first you should know the types of COVID-19 tests available in the market. It includes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic test involves the collection of nasal swab, blood test and antibody test to check your early exposure.
Now you have to decide whether you will wait to experience any symptoms or check out for early exposure! Continue reading this blog to know about the right time for COVID-19 test in details.
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Undergo a COVID- 19 tests
In accordance to the medical expert, it is clear that people get exposed to COVID-19 only by entertaining close contact with an infected person (positive case). Even they are not experienced any sort of like symptoms, they should get tested. It will be helpful in other ways simultaneously.
This test will incorporate in the detection of the infected persons in their initial stage (mostly asymptomatic). By doing so, a public health intervention can be leveraged for preventing huge transmission of the infection to others. It is the key as any asymptomatic infection is the main carrier of the epidemic which makes the condition worse than ever.
Hence according to the medical expert, it is important to identify the asymptomatic persons (positive cases) mainly to break the chain so that the virus cannot spread anymore. On the other hand, the persons with no symptoms and exposure history may not get tested at the same time. It is important to note that the incubation period of the virus is 5-7 days.
However it can effective in a body for long 14 days. Also, the medical expert reveals that early test after exposure can increase the chance of getting a false-negative report too. But a positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is the clear indication that there is detectable RNA (viral) in the body.
However, it doesn’t indicate that you have the infection but you have the chance or have had it in the past. Irrespective of the positive PCR there are many people who are infected but have no to little known viral infection even on 9th and 10th day. It represents that earlier the person was infected but now the infection is not there and so the person is non-infectious.
The report of the PCR can come positive even after many weeks of having the infection and it is considered as normal. It only represents that the detectable RNA is still there in body not the virus. Yet, CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests the person with positive PCR test to stay at home isolation for at least 10 days.
Therefore for some medical experts, this test is reliable for identifying the person who can get active in the future. By doing so, they can protect themselves along with other people in the surroundings. Otherwise, the test has no moot in this prospect.
Basically Antibody test hunts for the trace of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM). The level of both of these substances will assist the doctor to know whether you have had the infection at present or in the past. The medical expert says that antibody test is essential for the individuals who experience Corona virus-like symptoms yet don’t get the access for immediate COVID-19 PCR Test.
Usually a couple of weeks is needed for the full development of antibodies after observing the symptoms. This is the reason it is not perfect for diagnostic purpose in case the symptoms get noticed for about less than 7 days. Moreover, antibody test mustn’t be recommended within 8-day of experiencing symptoms as well.
Only PCR test is proven to be effective to detect Corona virus in such individuals. It is efficient for accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 at the same time. As antibody is not possible to develop within such short time span it heightens the risk of false-negative report. Furthermore, there are more concerns regarding the accuracy of the tests at the same time.
But back in February, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) authorises antibody test as Trusted Source of emergency use for detecting the Novel Corona virus. It clearly depicts that the tests have been released much before FDA evaluated its efficiency for usage.
When to undergo both of the tests
As per the guidelines of Federal both tests are necessary for the person who starts experiencing symptoms within 9-14 days. Antibody test is highly effective for the individuals with asymptomatic exposure but have experienced Corona virus like sickness before 14 days. This test is also important in case you have had exposure with a COVID-19-infecetd person before 14 days.
It will assist in detection is you had this virus already earlier! Having antibodies doesn’t mean that you get protective immunity to this virus. But the expert reveals it occasionally happens so! Moreover, there is also a chance of receiving false positives from antibody test even if you haven’t any COVID-19 symptoms at all.
A medical expert discloses as research is consistent, never assume immunity is there with positive antibody test. You should continue with putting on mask and maintaining physical distancing with positive report of antibody test till any effective factors and data is discovered.
But there is nothing more to do with positive report of antibodies. It offers only information regarding the exposure history of the person for new Novel Corona virus and hence doesn’t need any sort of action.
What’s about retesting?
After performing PCR test, if you get exposed or notice any potential symptoms, then retesting is necessary! According to CDC, if the healthcare workers found negative PCR test they can set back to work easily and safely. But the report of the consecutive collected (within 24-hour) two specimens must come negative.
As per top medical expert, non-exposed persons with negative PCR report should undergo retesting as sometimes they may get infected with asymptomatic condition. Hope, you have understood the right time to perform COVID-19 test. Yet it is advised to stay in touch with your doctor and take care of your immunity. In case you think that there is an exposure then it is better to book an appointment at your nearest clinic for private covid 19 testing. This will let you stay safe and healthy during this tough time.
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