The tests involved for new strain of coronavirus is about taking a swab sample for further analysis.The virus which is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cause coronavirus disease 19 or COVID-19. It is important to develop proper tests for this deadly virus so that its spread can be slowed down.
Presently, these tests are being conducted for the ones who are at greater risk of developing this suspected COVID-19. For example, the healthcare professionals will probably prioritize testing for older adults who might be having this kind of infection. Go through this post to find out how COVID-19 test works and who is getting them.
How does the test work?
There are different ways to test for this new strain of cornavirus. Most of them are either molecular or serological tests.
Molecular tests help to detect the signs of your present infection. These usually consist of taking a sample by using a cotton swab from the back of your throat. The doctor will then be testing the sample to conduct necessary tests. The sample will pass through a polymerase chain reaction or PCR test that identifies signs of genetic material of this virus.
A PCR test will help to confirm the diagnosis of COVID-19 in case it detects two specific SARS-CoV-2 genes. If it identifies one of these genes only, then it will deliver an uncertain result. Molecular tests will help to detect the present cases of COVID-19 only. But they won’t be able to tell if someone has had the infection and recovered.
These tests can help to identify antibodies that the body produces to fight against this deadly virus. The antibodies will be present in anyone who has already recovered from COVID-19. The antibodies usually exist into the blood and tissues all through your body. A serological test will usually require taking a blood sample.
Serological tests are extremely helpful to detect for the cases of infection that either have mild or no symptoms at all. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they are presently developing a serological test for SARS-CoV-2, and looking for the blood samples from anyone who has had COVID-19. These samples would then be taken at least 21 days after the symptoms had first developed.
Where can you get these tests done?
There are different options for performing the tests.
Public tests – In the United States, nearly 91 public health laboratories have already completed the verification to test for this deadly COVID-19. Testing is there in all 50 states along with the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico and Guam. According to the CDC, you need to contact state health department for getting the test done. People who have medical facilities and are 65 or older, the prices for these tests might vary from $35–52, according to the state.
It is important to know that these tests are at present restricted to people who have the danger of getting this serious disease. Those who are at risk consist of the following:
- people who have severe symptoms
- pregnant women
- people who are having underlying health problems
- older adults
On April 21, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved using the first home testing kit for COVID-19. By using the cotton swab, people can collect a nasal sample and then mail it to the laboratory for further testing. According to the emergency use authorization, it has been specified that the test kit can be used by the people whom healthcare professionals have already identified as being suspected of COVID-19.
How much are they accurate?
The tests are COVID-19 are new, and evaluating their accuracy can be a big challenge. PCR tests might deliver false negatives by failing to detect the evidence of SARS-CoV-2. Sometimes, false negatives might result from human error or problems associated with the method. By giving COVID-19 test in London too early or late might be the reason for a false negative. The accurate results of similar tests for influenza will be usually 50–70%.
Why is it important to test the rates from one country to another?
Until March 23, 2020, the CDC laboratories had 4,649 tests and the public health laboratories in the U.S had 75,263 tests. These figures generally refer to the number of specimens being tested than the number of people and some people provide several samples for testing.
The U.S. has been slow in comparison to other countries for taking up COVID-19 testing. Accounting for the size of the population, the U.S. is already administering fewer tests than some Asian and many European countries. For example, the U.S. has already administered nearly 314 tests for each 1 million people. In the United Kingdom, the same figure is 960, while for Germany it is almost 2,023 and for South Korea it is around 6,148.
The U.S. is even administering near about ten times fewer tests when compared to Canada. The lower rates of testing in the U.S. will mean that more people will probably have COVID-19 than the national figures suggest.
When should you get tested?
Anyone who is suffering from any of the following symptoms need to get in touch with a healthcare provider:
- shortness of breath
The private COVID-19 tests in London are in short supply and only available for the ones who are at risk of severe illness. A doctor will determine if the symptoms of an individual require performing a test. Anyone who is above 60 years and has a severe health condition should perform the test.
Most people who develop the symptoms of COVID-19 will ha
ve a mild form of this disease which does not require specialist treatment at the hospital. Mild symptoms will include – fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and tiredness that might last for 1 to 2 weeks.
Other people who are having this kind of infection might not experience any symptoms. For some people, COVID-19 is a severe illness and the risk will be higher for people who are older or suffer from severe health conditions such as diabetes.