Covid-19 Testing: How it Works
In our current world, testing for Covid-19 has become more important now than it ever has been. Not only can Covid-19 testing help reduce the spread of infection to those around you, but it has also become a huge factor in daily life. Perhaps there has been a Covid-19 outbreak at your work, and you want to get tested before visiting an elderly relative. Or perhaps you’re going to a large wedding, and it’s been requested that all the attendees get tested beforehand. Regardless of the reason, learning more about Covid-19 testing will help you understand exactly how the process works so that you can use it accurately and achieve the best results for your needs.
While testing might now be used for a number of different purposes, it is first and foremost extremely important to remember that you should get tested if you exhibit any of the common Covid-19 symptoms. These include fatigue, fever, chills, headaches, sore throat, congestion, and nasal drip. While these symptoms can range in severity, it is still important to get tested even if your symptoms are mild as you can still spread Covid-19 to others you come in contact with relatively easily if you’re not self-isolating.
Reasons for Covid-19 Testing
As was previously mentioned, there are several reasons why you might want to get tested for Covid-19 apart from if you’re exhibiting symptoms. Covid-19 testing is also extremely useful for individuals who may be asymptomatic, meaning they don’t have any visible Covid-19 symptoms. If you’re getting tested for work, in order to attend large gatherings, or even to travel, Covid-19 testing will help protect those around you even if you’re asymptomatic and will help keep others safe and healthy.
Who Can Get Tested
If you believe you have Covid-19, it’s important to get tested so that you can confirm whether or not you have it and begin the mandatory self-isolation requirements if necessary. Getting a test by a licensed medical professional helps to confirm whether or not you are sick, and anyone who believes they might have Covid-19 should take some form of test to confirm. This is extremely important for those who are at a higher risk of contracting a more serious case of Covid-19 such as older adults, and individuals with underlying health challenges such as diabetes, lung or heart conditions, or other health challenges that compromise the immune system.
If you are getting tested for Covid-19, there are a few different testing options to consider. To test whether or not you are currently infected with the virus, you can opt for either a molecular or antigen test.
A molecular test is a viral test that provides highly-accurate results. Depending on your location and the type of testing facility that you go to, these tests can take anywhere from a few hours to 7 days.
An antigen test, also often known as a rapid diagnostic test, can be processed much more quickly than the standard molecular tests. It is important to note however that they have a lower accuracy rate than the molecular tests.
For both types of viral tests, a sample needs to be obtained from your respiratory system. This process involves using a specialized swab to collect a mucus sample from either the throat or nose. The swab is then tested through either a laboratory or an easily-accessible testing kit. For the most accurate results, tests should be done by a medical professional.
The other type of Covid-19 testing that you can get is an antibody test. This type of test will determine whether or not you’ve had Covid-19 in the past through testing your blood for antibodies (the proteins in our blood that help fight off viruses or bacteria). Antibodies are disease-specific and can only protect you from getting a specific infection, meaning we can test specifically for antibodies related to the Covid-19 virus.
When getting an antibody test, a small sample of your blood will be taken through a finger prick. This blood will be sent to a lab or testing facility and checked for antibodies related to the Covid-19 virus. Antibodies normally only appear from 1 to 3 weeks after an individual has been infected, so there is a chance you might still be contagious if you have Covid-19 antibodies. It’s important to also get a PCR test as well if this is the case just to be certain.
What Happens with a Positive Test?
If your results indicate that you currently have an active Covid-19 infection, it’s important to follow the health guidelines of the CDC and isolate for the appropriate number of days. This will help ensure that you don’t spread the virus to your loved ones and other community members. Take care to also wash your hands and surfaces in your home that you regularly touch.
If you receive a positive test for antibodies, make sure to also conduct a test to ensure your infection isn’t currently active. If it’s not an active infection and you have Covid-19 antibodies, it’s still a good idea to take regular health precautions such as mask-wearing and regular disinfecting as no studies have reported that having Covid-19 once will give you indefinite immunity.
Contact us for Covid-19 testing in Pasadena today!
For expert Covid-19 testing in the Pasadena area, visit our amazing staff at Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena. Our friendly and professional healthcare practitioners will help take care of all your Covid-19 testing needs.
Contact us online with any questions you might have or call (626) 304-0404 and let us help you and your family stay safe and healthy!