COVID-19 virus test: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Allan I. Fleming

Testing can be done in a pair of means. For a nasopharyngeal take a look at, you will be questioned to cough prior to the take a look at starts and then tilt your head back again a bit. A sterile, cotton-tipped swab is carefully passed by way of a nostril and into the nasopharynx. This is the uppermost section of the throat, at the rear of the nose. The swab is remaining in position for many seconds, rotated, and taken off. This identical technique may well be done on your other nostril.

For an anterior nasal take a look at, the swab will be inserted into your nostril no a lot more than 3/four of an inch (two centimeters). The swab will be rotated four times when pressing from the within of your nostril. The identical swab will be used to accumulate samples from both nostrils.

Tests may well be done by a well being care supplier at an office environment, push-by way of, or wander-up spot. Check with your community well being department to obtain out wherever testing is accessible in your space.

At-household testing kits are also accessible that accumulate a sample applying a both nasal swab or sample of saliva. The sample is then both despatched to a lab for testing, or with some kits, you can get results at household. Get hold of your supplier to see if household assortment and testing is correct for you and if it is accessible in your space.

There are two sorts of virus assessments accessible that can diagnose COVID-19:

  • Polymerase chain response (PCR) assessments detect the genetic content of the virus that results in COVID-19. The samples are typically despatched to a laboratory for testing, and results are accessible in a few days. There are also speedy PCR diagnostic assessments that are run on specialized equipment on-web site, for which the results are accessible straight away.
  • Antigen assessments detect unique proteins on the virus that results in COVID-19. Antigen assessments are speedy diagnostic assessments, which means the samples are analyzed on-web site, and results are accessible in many minutes.
  • Fast diagnostic assessments of any type are less precise than the common PCR take a look at. If you get a destructive result on a speedy take a look at, but have symptoms of COVID-19, your supplier may well do a non-speedy PCR take a look at.

If you have a cough that generates phlegm, the supplier may well also accumulate a sputum sample. Often, secretions from your lower respiratory tract can also be used to take a look at for the virus that results in COVID-19.

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Up-to-date by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medication, Division of General Medication, Office of Medication, College of Washington University of Medication. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Health care Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial workforce. Editorial update eleven/03/2020.