Health

Are At-home Coronavirus Tests Accurate?

coronavirus tests
Image by Elchinator from Pixabay

Coronavirus tests have been an important part of controlling the spread of the infection by detecting the virus in asymptomatic cases and isolating them as well as through the prediction of potential new outbreak spots. The world’s leading infectious disease experts, including Dr. Anothony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have also suggested an increase in testing for the prevention of more cases.

This is why the US and other countries around the globe have conducted testing on a much wider scale ever since. At the moment, there is now an increased emphasis on the need for testing once again as the transmission of the coronavirus infection has also become higher.

The second wave in many of the parts of the world, according to health experts, is likely to be even worse than the first one, leading to a much higher number of new infections and coronavirus deaths. Testing is, therefore, essential in keeping this from happening.

At the moment, there are a variety of coronavirus tests available at different health centers. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been a number of difficulties in undergoing coronavirus testing for many of the people, leading to them either skipping or delaying the test.

For instance, people who work multiple jobs day or cannot afford to invest several hours in traveling to a coronavirus resource center, waiting in line for getting the test, and then returning to pick up the test results. Often, it is inconvenient and can affect their jobs.

At a time of high economic uncertainty, the majority is careful about where and how to spend money. In order to make the ends meet and have basic necessities of life, a portion of the population may also not be able to afford to undergo the hassle of getting a conventional coronavirus test.

However, for ending the pandemic, more people should get a coronavirus test. Therefore, the solution here that can help people save money and time as well as get tested is by the use of at-home tests, which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under EUA or Emergency Use Authorization.

Although they have been approved by the FDA, a good number of people still doubt and question the accuracy of these tests which can be done at home.

The only difference between professional testing at a lab or a coronavirus facility center and a home test is in the swabs. Home tests usually require saliva and nasal swabs and lab tests use nasopharyngeal swabs. Though the latter go deeper in the cavity, experts argue the former is also enough to determine whether a person has coronavirus or not.

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The procedures in the lab for both of the tests are the same. So, there is little difference in the accuracy of both of the options for tests. In any case, getting an at-home coronavirus test is better than not getting tested at all.

The only advice experts give for people who may think their test results are inaccurate is to consult with a doctor particularly if they are seeing symptoms of the infection.

 

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Abeera I. Kazmi

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