What are the different types of coronavirus testing?
There are three broad categories of coronovirus tests in the US Two to diagnose if you have an active infection, and a third indicates if you previously had the virus.
Here’s how they work:
Most tests look for bits of the virus’s genetic material, and require a nasal swab, which is taken by a health professional and then sent to a laboratory. This is believed to be the most accurate way to diagnose an infection, but it is not correct: the swab has to obtain a good sample so that any virus can be detected.
These tests usually take hours to process in the laboratory, so you will not get results back for at least a day, although a handful of rapid testing takes about 15 minutes at the site. Other genetic tests use saliva instead of saliva.
A new type of test for proteins found on the surface of coronaviruses rather than viruses. These antigen tests are just killing the market, and experts hope they will help expand the test and speed up the results.
Antigen tests are not as accurate as genetic tests, but require cheaper, faster and less specialized laboratory equipment. He is still required nasal inflammation by a health professional.
A recently approved test from Abbott Laboratories takes 15 minutes and can be performed in schools, offices and other locations.
Antibody tests look for proteins that the body makes to fight infection in a patient’s blood sample. Antibody is an indication that a person was previously COVID-19.
Scientists do not yet know whether antibodies protect people from other infections, or how long this protection may remain. Therefore antibody tests are useful to most researchers who measure which part of the population was infected.
AP is answering your questions about coronovirus in this series. Send them to: [email protected]
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