Alternatives to Rapid Antigen Test for Travel

Rapid Antigen Test for Travel

Are you consider getting a rapid antigen test for travel? This Covid-19 test detects certain proteins in the virus. A long nasal swab is used to get a fluid sample. There are some antigen tests that can produce results in minutes. Others may be sent to a lab for analysis.

A positive rapid antigen test result is considered accurate when instructions are carefully followed. However, there is an increased chance of false-negative results. This means that it is possible to be infected with the virus but have a negative result. Depending on the situation, the medical professional may recommend a PCR test to confirm a negative antigen test result.

Apart from rapid antigen testing, there are other types of tests that you can also opt for if you want to know your coronavirus status. A good alternative is a PCR test. Also called a molecular test, a PCR test detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or with use of a shorter nasal swab (mid-turbinate swab) to get a sample.

In some cases, a long swab can be inserted into the back of your throat (oropharyngeal swab), or you can be told to spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample. The results of a rapid antigen test for travel can be available in minutes if analyzed onsite or a few days, or longer in locations with test processing delays (if sent to an outside lab). PCR tests are preferred by many facilities and people because they are very accurate when properly performed by a health care professional, but the rapid test can miss some cases.

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