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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Covid-19 Testing and various diagnostic tests for different variants

This blog is dedicated to the ongoing situation again. The world is happening to be again exposed to the threats of Omicron variant of the Covid-19 Virus. This post is hence more of a medical technology related post. However, I feel that it is most essential today - Be Safe and Keep others safe!It is based on the research as is available on authentic and reliable websites.

You’ve probably heard a lot about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing. If you think you have COVID-19 and need a test, contact your health care provider or local health departmentExternal Link Disclaimer immediately. You can also find a community testing site in your state, or buy an FDA-authorized at-home test. Some FDA-authorized at-home tests give you results within minutes. Others require you to mail the sample to a lab for analysis.

Understanding COVID-19 testing is key to making an informed decision that meets your needs, as there are different types of tests – diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

Type of Covid Tests:
Diagnostic tests can show if you have an active COVID-19 infection and need to take steps to quarantine or isolate yourself from others. Molecular and antigen tests are types of diagnostic tests than can detect if you have an active COVID-19 infection. Samples for diagnostic tests are typically collected with a nasal or throat swab, or saliva collected by spitting into a tube.

Antibody tests look for antibodies in your immune system produced in response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose an active COVID-19 infection. Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery. Samples for antibody tests are typically blood from a finger stick, or blood drawn by your doctor or other medical personnel.

Getting Tested
If you are tested, you should quarantine and isolate yourself at home until you receive your test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

When should I get a test?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, even after vaccination If you have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19, even after vaccination If you took part in activities that put you at higher risk for COVID-19 because you could not socially distance as needed, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings If you have been asked or referred to get tested by your health care provider, or localExternal Link Disclaimer or state health department Your school, workplace or community may also establish a screening program, in which they test individuals who are part of a group (at work, at school) even if there is no reason to suspect those individuals are infected with COVID-19. The FDA issued more information about screening programs in this fact sheet.

Do COVID-19 tests check for the omicron, delta and other variants?
Currently, COVID-19 tests are designed and authorized to check broadly for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and not for specific variants, sometimes called SARS-CoV-2 viral mutations or genetic mutations. It is common for all viruses to change and mutate over time, resulting in different virus strains. There are no authorized COVID-19 tests that specifically report the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron, delta, or other variants, in patient samples.

If you want to be sure the test you are buying is authorized by the FDA, visit our tables of molecular, antigen, and serology and adaptive immune response in vitro diagnostic emergency use authorizations (EUA) for more information.

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