This laboratory test is performed on a nasal swab sample to detect the presence of Covid-19. PCR is the gold standard test to diagnose novel coronavirus infection due to its reliability and accuracy. It can also detect the fragments of virus if you are no longer infected.
Why is this test performed?
Coronavirus test is performed to rule out novel coronavirus infection in patients with or without respiratory symptoms. It is a very accurate and reliable test for the diagnosis of coronavirus infection. It can detect small fragments of the virus even if you had coronavirus in the past.
Collection of sample: A swab is inserted deep in the nostrils to collect the respiratory material present inside the nose. The sample is sent to the laboratory
The genetic material is extracted from the sample from any virus that may be present
Genetic material is then inserted into the PCR machine to confirm the presence of Coronavirus.
Is this nasal swab test painful?
Nasal swab is a stick with a soft tip that is inserted deep into the nostrils to collect the respiratory samples. Patients complain that this procedure is slightly painful and leaves you with a feeling of sneezing. However, it depends upon the skills of health-care professional.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus infection?
Patients infected with coronavirus may experience:
Shortness of breath
What is the advantage of PCR over other tests?
PCR testing for coronavirus is the most accurate and reliable test because it tests for small amount of virus material, even the fragments of covid-19 virus.
What are the downsides of PCR testing?
Fragments can be detected in PCR testing even if you have recovered from the infection and the infection is no longer contagious. Resulting in a positive result.
Can I get tested if I don’t have any symptoms?
Yes, you may get tested if you’re asymptomatic but at a high risk of infection such as front-line workers, and exposure to corona positive patients. Although, it’s not necessary but you can get tested if you are really worried about the virus.
How can we prevent the spread of Coronavirus?
Regularly wash and sanitize your hands
Cover your nose and mouth in public places
Cook your food thoroughly
Avoid interacting with people unnecessarily.
Interpretation of test results:
Positive: A positive coronavirus test means you are most probably infected by covid-19. Isolate yourself from everyone, most people will recover safely at home without any medical assistance. However, if your condition worsens. Consult your doctor immediately.
Negative: A negative coronavirus test means that you are not infected by Covid-19. But, it doesn’t mean you are safe. You can get infected and spread the virus to others, stay safe.
You should get tested:
If you have symptoms of Covid-19
If you have a recent history of international traveling
If you have been exposed to a corona positive patient