Covid-19 Antigen Test for Travel

What is Covid-19 Antigen Test?

Covid-19 Antigen Test which is commonly known as Rapid Antigen Test is affordable and rapid testing that helps you detect the presence of Covid-19 virus in your system. It looks for proteins produced by the virus called antigens. People can test themselves before travel and carry the Antigen test kit during travel and test themselves after reaching the convenience of their homes rather than relying on getting tested at a center.

How does Antigen Testing work?

Rapid Antigen Testing helps detect the presence of the virus even in people who do not show symptoms but might carry the risk of having the virus and spreading it to others. The way the result is obtained is: 

  • There are viral proteins that are detectable in the upper respiratory tract secretion during the face of infections. Similar to RT-PCR testing, Antigen testing is done using nasal or Nasopharyngeal swabs. This test detects pieces of the virus or antigens.
  • Once a sample has been obtained it will be processed to disrupt the particles of the virus and expose the virus nucleoproteins which are the antigens, that are detected by the test.
  • The next step is to apply the sample to the testing strip which is similar to the Lateral flow antibody test. 
  • The Antigen Test result is either
  1. Positive with a test line and control line visible
  2. Negative with only the control line visible 
  3. Invalid with only the test line visible or no line visible

What are the advantages of Covid-19 Antigen test?

  • High Speed- One of the main advantages of Antigen Testing is its high-speed testing as compared to RT-PCR testing. Once the sample is added to the testing strip it takes not more than 10-15 minutes for the results to appear. 

For example, in hospitals, medical personnel could use these tests to quickly test patients and isolate those with positive results, in fact, they can also test themselves if they feel they are at risk. 

  • Less expensive-  Antigen testing is also less expensive compared to RT-PCR testing. During the pandemic, many of the raw materials required for RT-PCR testing were in a shortage such as personal protective equipment and personal training that is required for taking the test. Unlike RT-PCR testing, Antigen testing kits do not require intense laboratory training as the steps are automated in a single device and can be done at the comfort of your home. 

How accurate is Covid-19 antigen test?

Perhaps the only disadvantage of Antigen testing is that it is not always accurate. RT-PCR testing is more accurate than Antigen Testing and if you feel sick or think you are down with symptoms, it is highly recommended that you take an RT-PCR test.

The accuracy of a test is done by assessing its sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity is how good a test is at detecting the virus in the body and the overall sensitivity of Antigen testing is 76.8% and that is quite low as compared to other tests such as a PCR test.  

Specificity on the other hand is how good a test is at giving a negative result in a person without a condition. As in, the occurrence of false positives is low which is a good thing. According to experts, Antigen Testing shows that the test has a specificity of 99.8%

Do you need a Covid-19 test before traveling to the UK?

Yes, it is mandatory for all travelers to have a negative test result before traveling to the UK.

Where can I get an Antigen Test as soon as possible?

Rapid Antigen Tests are available to order online at Healthyaa for just £38. The results will be available within 2 hours after taking the test. Test available between 07:30 am until 4:00 pm every day (including weekends). For more details visit Healthyaa

Reference

https://www.medicspot.co.uk/covid-test/antigen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ0h0pyFgSY&t=510s

In order to find more up-to-date information about COVID-19 symptoms and how it is transmitted, visit the COVID-19 webpage www.cdc.gov/COVID19

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