Even after a year of living with the coronavirus pandemic, you may have thus far avoided the need for any Covid-19 tests. Even if you have, there are still a number of different options out there that can make it all a little confusing and overwhelming when you are trying to decide on which is the best Covid-19 test.
You may wonder, do I need a Swab Antigen Test, or do I need a Swab PCR Test? Which is the best Covid-19 test for international travel and where can I get a Fit-to-Fly PCR test near me? These are all valid concerns and good questions to ask.
In the following post, we want to help you understand a bit more about the tests available.
Types of Covid-19 Tests Available
Currently, there are two Covid-19 tests available that are most commonly used to determine whether you have the virus present in your system or not. These tests are:
- The PCR Test
- The Antigen Test
Both are considered effective, but both come with their own pros and cons. To help you understand each a little more, we will tackle them separately.
The PCR Test
The PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction Test is what is known as a molecular test. The purpose of this test is to look for any evidence of the coronavirus in your system by testing for viral genetic material. It involves taking either a swab from your nasal passage and/or your throat.
One of the key benefits of the PCR Test is that it generally has a low rate of producing results referred to as false-positives. A false-positive result is one that says you have the virus, when you actually don’t. In some ways, this makes the PCR Test highly accurate. However, it is also important to note that the PCR test has been shown to provide a higher rate of results that are false-negative than the alternatives. False-negative results, in case you are unaware, state that you do not have the virus when you actually do.
Nevertheless, they are highly regarded for their sensitivity and accuracy. One of the biggest problems with the PCR test is that because they require a deep swab, they can be quite uncomfortable. It can also take a lot longer to get results from this test compared to the Antigen Test.
The other most commonly used form of test to determine whether you currently have the virus present in your body is the Antigen Test. This test looks for special proteins found in the coronavirus, know as antigens. Again, this is administered either by taking a swab from your nasal passage or from the back of your throat.
Even if it sounds like nothing you have heard of before, if you, or a loved one has ever taken a pregnancy test, this is the same type of diagnostic test. Compared to PCR Tests, you will find that one of the biggest advantages of the Antigen Test is that it is cheaper. As if that wasn’t enough, it also takes far less time to obtain results from the Antigen Test than it does from the PCR Test.
As we noted, though, all forms of Covid-19 testing have their ups and their downs, their pros, and their cons. One major downside of the Antigen Test is that despite their accuracy, you may still need to have a PCR Test in addition to an Antigen Test.
Why? Antigen Tests are known to return an exceptionally high rate of results that are false-negative.
Which is the Right Test for You?
There is no single correct answer to the question above. It really depends on how you feel and what you need your test results for. For instance, if you are just looking to be tested as part of company policy, the Antigen Test or PCR test will be sufficient enough.
Whatever you decide is best for you, if you are looking for a relatively affordable, reputable, and fast service, you should consider Pure Testing.