Things to know before going for your covid 19 test
The coronavirus has seriously affected many countries in the world, including India. The first case of coronavirus in India was reported on 30th January 2020. Since then, corona cases have increased a lot and also covid 19 test.
After Diwali, there is a rapid increase in the number of cases. As of today, there are almost 9 million cases in India. The Ministry of health is working day and night and taking all the effective measures to fight the virus.
However, the lack of knowledge about the symptoms and Covid 19 tests has created panic among the public.
WHAT’S IN IT
- Symptoms of Coronavirus
- Types of Covid 19 tests
- Which test is more accurate for COVID-19?
Symptoms of coronavirus
Coronavirus affects every person differently. However, the most common symptom observed is a dry cough, fever and a feeling of tiredness.
There are a few other symptoms that will not affect everyone. This includes pain in different parts of the body, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste and smell, rashes on the skin.
However, it may take a week or two for these symptoms to appear. Other serious symptoms include difficulty in breathing, pain in chest and loss of speech.
If you feel any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
If you feel that you have the above symptoms, you that doesn’t necessarily means that you are affected with the virus.
However, if the symptoms increase or you carry symptoms for a longer period of time then it is advised to take the test by contacting authorised laboratories in the private or government hospitals.
You can get the reports within 24 hours. Until you take the test, it is advised to stay away from family members and other people.
You can also contact the Central government helpline number 1075 the state helpline number according to your state.
Different types of Covid 19 tests
Covid tests are the only way by which one can keep track of the corona outbreak in a country.
Before going for a covid test, it is essential to know which test you should take. There is a disclaimer that no test is one hundred per cent accurate.
However, they all are different from each other in some of the other ways, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are mainly three different types of Covid 19 tests.
Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) basically takes saliva samples by inserting a nasal swab deep into your nose which is common in every test as it is the only place where the most number of virus particles are present.
It is required to test for the presence of viral RNA using RT-PCR technique. When the coronavirus enters the body, it keeps on duplicating itself through RNA. Therefore RNA becomes the primary source for detecting the covid 19 particles.
When it comes to accuracy, this test shows very accurate results. The accuracy of this test depends upon how much the virus has affected the patient, and the total time passed.
Talking about the cost, it is a little expensive as it requires sophisticated testing equipment and only a professional can perform this test.
Antibody testing is a lateral flow test which helps to detect the presence of covid virus into the body. In this test, the samples are collected and combined with antibodies which generate some colour. The variation of these colour determines the presence of coronavirus into the body.
The type of test is not that costly as it can be performed manually by anyone having the test kit or using automated platforms.
Serology tests measure how your body can respond to the virus. This test helps to detect the response which your immune system has to infection.
Antigen test aims to target different protein particles which are specifically present in the virus. These particles are treated as foreign particles by the body’s immune system.
Like the two tests, the sample is collected by interesting a nasal swab into the nose. The sample is then transferred on a test drip after inserting it into a solution which helps to deactivate the virus.
If the result is positive, these test strips show a coloured line within a few minutes. This test conducted more fastly as compared to others and also is cost-effective.
Which test is more accurate for COVID-19?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of a hundred per cent accuracy in each of these covid tests. Since the coronavirus is a new virus, therefore its test is also new.
Thus, only approximate results can be derived. However, Rt-PCR is considered better than the other two.
Also, one may decide which test to take on the basic of urgency or cost of the test.
They are done because it is the need of the hour as there should be some measure to detect the presence of the virus in one’s body.
Fever and cough are the most common symptoms of coronavirus. But having the same doesn’t imply that you are infected with the virus. Because these are also the basic illness that one can have due to various reasons like weather change, etc.
Therefore it is advised to wait for a few days before actually going for the test because it can unnecessarily create panic.
There are three basic types of tests RT-PCR, Antibody and Antigen tests. None of these tests guarantees hundred per cent accuracy in results but is effective.
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Yes, You may get a false positive report, but the chances are very rare. This may mostly happen due to technical faults.
Their is no guarantee of 100% accurate in any of the Covid-19 Test. However, Rt-Pcr is considered better than the other two.
To Travel, You need to Submit a Negative RT-PCR Report of test Conducted Within a specific Time Period Before Travel.
Dr. Divaanshu Gupta
Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.