With the continuous increase of covid cases, the UK has seen one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 worldwide. Testing is an effective method to prevent the spread of the virus. It is the only way to determine whether a headache or runny nose is due to covid, not the seasonal flu or cold. Covid testing also helps to discover if people with no symptoms have covid as they can spread the virus to other people.

What Are The Different Types Of Coronavirus Tests?

The primary purpose of coronavirus tests is to look for either a current infection or a past infection. The types of tests include:

Viral Testing

Healthcare providers perform this testing to check whether a person is currently affected with coronavirus or not. They look for pieces of the virus in a sample of mucus or saliva (spit). You can get your test report on the day of the test.

Types of Viral Tests

The two major types of viral tests include:

Antigen Tests

Diagnostic experts perform these tests to determine the presence of a specific viral antigen.

Molecular Tests

These tests amplify the genetic material or RNA present inside the virus. PCR test is the type of molecular test.

Diagnostic experts usually take the sample for the viral testing from the inside of the nose. They do this by using a swab. They can also take it from the throat, the inside of the cheeks, the gums, or the tongue. Sometimes it can also be collected via saliva (or spit) in a small container.

Antibody Testing

The health experts use antibody tests to determine if a coronavirus had infected the person in the past. They do this by examining the antibodies that the body makes after an infection. It can detect the disease that occurred at least 2 to 3 weeks before the test. It is time a body takes to produce antibodies after recovering from the illness. But, this test can not tell if the person is currently infected or not.

An antibody test requires a blood sample from a vein or the tip of a finger. A person can get their test reports on the same day or a week later. But, there is no home kit available for antibody testing yet.

Your body also produces antibodies after you get a covid vaccine. Some antibody tests detect antibodies from infection. Others are used to detect antibodies produced after getting a vaccine. Some tests determine both.

Healthcare experts are working to find out the best ways to utilise antibody tests. Currently, they do not suggest using antibody tests to discover how well the covid vaccine is working.

Which Tests Are Currently Available In The UK?

Several covid tests are available in various health care units in the United Kingdom. Some of them include:

Antigen lateral flow test

PCR test day 2 & day 8

Antibody Test

PCR test for travel abroad

Fit-to-fly test

Test to release

Rapid antigen test

Is It Possible To Self-Test For COVID-19?

There are many options available for a self-test at home. While having these tests, you do not need to stress about your vaccination status or whether or not you are experiencing covid symptoms. In self-testing, you swab yourself with self-test kits. It is the same as a home pregnancy test.

Self-tests include rapid tests that give the test reports within a few minutes. These tests also involve home collection kits sent to a laboratory for analysis.

How Long Do COVID-19 Test Results Take?

It depends on the type of the test or where it was performed. It can either get ready within a few minutes or take hours or even days.

Who Should Get Tested?

We offer the following recommendation for who should take the covid test.

People who are experiencing any of the covid symptoms.

Individuals who have been exposed to a covid positive case.

Unvaccinated people who must travel domestically.

People who plan to travel internationally. They should follow the covid testing requirements of the destination.

Those who do not show any covid symptoms. But, they are prioritised by local health departments or healthcare providers.

What Is The Government Of The UK Doing To Boost Its Testing Capacity?

With the rising number of covid cases in England, the government is under pressure to ramp up the testing capacity. The government’s goal is to take the UK’s testing strategy to the next level. To achieve this UK government have asked for help from businesses to boost the covid testing capacity in England and save lives. They are also considering launching a public campaign to encourage people to take tests.

Limitations Of COVID-19 Tests

Antibody testing has many associated limitations. It is because experts are still studying the immunity to COVID-19.

No covid test is 100% reliable. No one can tell the reliability of the tests with complete surety even the tests are meeting the regulatory standards of performance and safety. Also, the test reports are only relevant to the sample provided at the moment.

Book an Appointment With Our Experts at Prime Medicare And Take a Covid Test today.


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