Why antigen rapid test is important for travellers? How it is done?

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Until corona virus immunization reaches the majority of the population, maintaining social distance and mass testing is critical. Because of this, one of the tools that have gained ground in this regard is the COVID-19 Day 2 Antigen Test. This testing technique is performed using a nasopharyngeal swab. Its biggest advantage is the speed of the result, which comes out in less than 30 minutes. It is also worth noting that the use of this test can be very important since the tracking of cases is still a difficulty. Another best thing about this test is its fast results which help the travelers to reduce the waiting time.

What is the COVID-19 antigen test?

The rapid antigen test is nothing more than immune-chromatographic test, which instead of detecting the genetic material of the virus, as in RTPCR, identifies the proteins of the virus. Its biggest advantage is the speed of results. With RTPCR, it takes 2-3 days for sample collection, processing and result delivery, whereas with antigen it takes just a few minutes. In the case of the COVID-19 antigen test, it is even possible to detect corona virus variants within 25 minutes.

Because of this agility, tests like these are the most suitable for mass testing and tracing of contacts. The explanation for this is simple – once the infected person is detected, both he and those with whom he had contact are isolated, interrupting the chain of contagion. In addition, antigen testing is cheaper compared to RTPCR.

When to take the antigen test

Anyone has developed symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus can be tested. In symptomatic cases, the antigen is mainly indicated from the onset of symptoms (1st to 5th day). In cases of exposure to corona virus, the recommendation is for the patient to seek the test after the 5th day of contact with those who had a confirmed case. This test, unlike other tests, has a high correlation with the period of transmission of the virus. It is one more reason why it is well suited for tracking cases and contacts.

How is the antigen test done?

The antigen test for COVID-19 is made from samples collected with a nasopharyngeal swab. The object is inserted into the nasal cavity until it reaches the gland. Collections can be analyzed using two methodologies – Immune-chromatography, and Fluorescent immunoassay. In both cases, the virus is detected by specific association with antibodies with conjugated colored particles. The test result is given by colored markers on a nylon membrane that has reagent and other areas blocked with inert protein.

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