How To Do A Rapid Antigen Test
Most people with Covid-19 have mild to severe symptoms that indicate to them that they may be suffering from the virus. Besides that, an outstanding 4 in 10 people with a SARS-CoV-2 (Covid) infection may have no symptoms at all. This has led to a greater focus on testing and is one of the main reasons that free testing kits were rolled out during the peak of the pandemic.
However, the tests themselves can often be difficult to do, leading to many looking online to answer the burning question of “how to do a rapid antigen test?”.
With so much mystery around Covid-19 rapid antigen tests even after their substantial use during the pandemic, not many know the key details to how the tests work, what they do and how to use them effectively.
In this article, we will address how exactly to do a rapid antigen test and what you can do to ensure that your test is accurate and reliable. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Covid-19, testing kits and rapid antigen tests.
What Is A Rapid Antigen Test?
A rapid antigen test is one of the most popular Covid-19 testing kits available, with households across the world holding them in abundance to help them protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.
A rapid antigen test is a rapid diagnostic method to check for the presence of viral antigens when a person has Covid-19.
In essence, a rapid antigen test is the same as a lateral flow test. The kit cassette rapidly tests for antigens in your sample produced as a result of having the virus. The lateral flow just means the process that runs on the cassette itself as the sample and solution flow laterally along with the cassette.
Rapid antigen tests were the first line of Covid-19 testing kits that were rolled out during the pandemic, used most rigorously in lockdown to help people identify when they were infected and when they needed to isolate or seek treatment.
Becoming one of the main reasons we were able to save lives, they experienced significant investment and development that led to their mass production and distribution for free to help households.
How Do You Use A Rapid Antigen Test Effectively?
With over 514,605,757 confirmed tests being used, and many more unrecorded, people across the United Kingdom got used to accommodating the device in their daily routines. Whether it was before work, at lunch or just before bed, everybody had to use the testing systems in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Even with all of this practice, some people are still unsure of how you can use a rapid antigen test effectively.
The first step to taking a rapid antigen test is to prepare yourself for the test. One of the best ways that you can regulate your testing is to make sure that you have met the demands and circumstances that the test needs to operate effectively. Make sure that you haven’t had anything to eat or drink in the last 30 minutes, and if you have, you should wait a further 30 minutes before doing a test. You should always blow your nose, clear your throat and make sure your airways are open to prevent the swab from being obstructed from any unwanted debris.
A recent study has found that Covid-19 tests are over 99% effective, and pick up positive results at early and late stages of infection. However, to maintain their effectiveness, they need to be completed properly and in line with the instructions. During the test, you are going to swab both your throat and your nose. If you have had a nose bleed in the last 24 hours, you should swab the nostril that did not bleed, or wait another 24 hours. Similarly, if you have a nose piercing, you must swab the other nostril, or if both sides are pierced, you should remove the piercing on the side you plan to swab. If for some reason you are unable to swab your throat, you should instead opt for swabbing both nostrils.
A clean and tidy space is vital for ensuring that your Covid-19 test is completed effectively. Firstly, clear, clean and dry a flat surface to place the testing kit on, wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and warm water, then dry your hands. You should place all items inside the kit onto your freshly prepared side to ensure that you have everything and to set up the test.
Research conducted in a controlled environment found that from a batch of testing kits, 5,079 tests out of 5,110 were negative, with the false positive rate being 0.5%. To prevent the chances of false positives, you should use your testing resources within 30 minutes of opening it and ensure that everything is prepared accordingly. To do this, you should open the extraction buffer sachet and pour the liquid into the extraction tube present in the test. Close the extraction tube cap and place the filled tube in the extraction tube holder, taking a moment to blow your nose and wash your hands once more.
Remove the swab from the package and take great care to not touch the soft part of the swab at the head. To take the sample, you need to make sure that the fabric end of the swab rubs on both tonsils 4 times on each side firmly. It is recommended that you use a mirror for the best results and to avoid touching your teeth, tongue or gums and contaminating the swab. Using the same swab, you then collect samples from each nostril and push until you feel resistance and roll it in 10 complete circles.
Once the samples are collected, press the tip of the swab against the edge of the extraction tube with force so that the samples are transferred to the liquid. Next, use the pipette at the end of the tube to squeeze the liquid into the testing strip, using a maximum of 3 drops. After this, you should get a result in 10 to 30 minutes depending on the type of rapid lateral flow test you’ve taken.
Once the test has been completed, you should safely bag all remnants of your test into the provided bag and dispose of it sensibly, taking time to ensure that it is sealed.
What Should I Do If I Test Positive For Covid-19?
After every test, we all assume that the results will be negative. However, for some, there have been times where they have received the dreaded positive result that has then forced them to change their system and adapt to reduce the risk to others. But not everybody knows what they should do when they have Covid-19, or how they can still do their part to protect their communities and save lives.
Starting from the day you tested positive, you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days. This helps to give you time to get over the virus and prevent it from spreading to friends and family, which could cause more damage in the future.
You should also attempt to avoid meeting people at higher risk from Covid-19 for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness. If you have Covid-19, you can pass on the virus for up to 10 days from when the infection starts. Giving the people around you a wider separation for longer can be the difference between infecting them and not.
Do You Need An Emergency Covid Test?
If you believe that you may be suffering from Covid-19 and would like clarity so that you can seek treatment, it’s always best to take a test as soon as possible. Our specialist team is on hand around the clock to provide quality care and services to help get Covid-19 tests to you so that you can start the road to recovery earlier. With our innovative new services and products, we are able to provide you with a unique and speedy service that will help redefine the meaning of ‘customer service’ forever.
Our mission is always to reinvent the modern way of taking and receiving Covid-19 tests and provide a service which is reflective of modern-day issues and solutions. We have always been proud to be able to say that our service has catered to 15,000 travellers to date, with many more expected to come in the following years.
For more information on how to reach us and order your tests today, you can contact Official Rapid Tests using our online form for the quickest responses and swift support from members of our team. Alternatively, you may choose to book an appointment for consultation either in person or over the phone to discuss your options and what may suit you best. Whatever you choose to do, we have no doubt that you’ll find what you’re looking for with us.