How to Use a Rapid Antigen Test Correctly?

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a Rapid antigen test are used to confirm Covid-19. However, a PCR test is more trustworthy.

Cases of Covid-19 are on the rise once more. It is not possible to do PCR testing on a significant number of persons. One report takes five to six hours to process. In order to conduct the test, we’ll also need a standardized laboratory. On the other hand, a fast antigen test (self-test) may be performed in the privacy of our own homes.

With a fast antigen test, we may get results in 15-30 minutes. Rapid antigen testing may be more effective in detecting new instances in light of our Covid-19 scenario.

When should you test?

To improve the accuracy of the test, choose a fast antigen test three to four days after being infected with the virus.

If you are experiencing symptoms, you should test three to four days after they begin.

Which kit should you use?

Check to see if the World Health Organization, the US Food and Drug Administration, or the Health Ministry has recommended and authorised the quick antigen test kit.

Before you start testing:
Check the expiration date of the kit and do not use expired kits.

During the test, no food or drink should be consumed. Smoking should be avoided at all costs.

Before doing the test, one should fully wash their hands and put on protective gloves.

Set aside a clean, disinfected, and well-kept area to conduct the test.

To avoid contamination, insert the nasal swab in the buffer extraction tube as soon as the specimen is obtained.

Procedure for testing:

An extraction buffer tube, a tube holder, a buffer tip, and a swab are included in the test package (along with a test cassette).
Gently put the swab into one nostril while tilting your head around 70 degrees to capture the nasal swab samples.

Five times around the inside wall of the nose, rotate the swab. (If the material is not adequately gathered, a false negative result may arise.)

Repeat the procedure in the other nostril.

Swirl the swab in the extraction buffer tube at least five times as soon as possible.

The extraction buffer tube’s tip has a flexible rubbery feel (reagent solution). Before removing the swab, rotate it and squeeze the tip to remove as much liquid as possible.

The buffer tip, which also functions as a dropper, is used to close the extraction buffer tube.

Squeeze the extraction buffer tube and dispense three to four drops of the solution into the test cassette’s’specimen well,’ then read the findings after 15 minutes.

On top of the test cassette (white rectangular block), there is a’result window’ marked with the letters ‘C’ and ‘T,’ as well as a’specimen well’ marked with the letters ‘S.’

After 15 minutes, and no later than 30 minutes, read the findings.

Examining the outcomes:

A negative outcome is shown by a single red line on the ‘control’ or ‘C’.

A favourable result is shown by red lines on both the ‘C’ and ‘T’ (test).

The result is invalid if there is a single red line on ‘T.’ (due to various reasons).

If there are no red lines on both the ‘C’ and ‘T,’ the kit is invalid, and the test should be repeated with a different kit.

To avoid misleading positive or negative findings, only observe the outcome after 15 minutes and before 30 minutes.

Result:

If the test is positive, isolate immediately and follow the Covid-19 instructions.

If the test is positive, it is certain that the person has been infected.
Antigen testing, on the other hand, have a larger risk of false negatives than false positives.

If the result is negative, regardless of symptoms, a PCR test for a confirming result is recommended since it is more accurate.

Aftercare:

After conducting the test, place all of the test kit materials in a zip lock bag before carefully discarding them.

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