Rapid COVID Testing in St. Charles IL
Are you experiencing symptoms of COVID-19? Talk to our team of healthcare professionals at Physicians Express about the COVID-19 rapid test. Call us today for more information. We are conveniently located at 2000 W. Main St. Suite M St. Charles, IL 60174.
Table of Contents:
The COVID-19 antigen test is a test that was designed to quickly process the results of the nasal swab and provide rapid test results. With test results taking several days during the peak of the Covid pandemic, it became apparent that a testing option was needed that would provide patients and healthcare professionals access to quicker results. This allows communities to limit the spread of COVID-19 as the fast test results allow contact tracers to reach out to close contacts quicker than before and therefore limit the number of people that the close contacts of a confirmed case can potentially have exposure to. An antigen test works by detecting the presence of specific protein, called the nucleocapsid protein that is part of the makeup of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that caused COVID-19. The antigen test is performed on individuals through a nasal cavity swab, that is then tested for virus antigen fragments when immersed into a special solution.
A PCR nasal swab refers to a polymerase chain reaction test that is executed in the form of a nasal swab or throat swab. A PCR test is used to detect the genetic material that makes up the COVID-19 virus, also known as the virus’s RNA, in order to diagnose an active infection of COVID-19. The main difference between a PCR test and an antigen test is that a PCR test is performed to detect the genetic material of an active infection of the virus, whereas an antigen test is used to detect the proteins of the virus found in the body that are the result of a person having been exposed to the virus. Both a PCR test and an antigen test can be used to diagnose a positive case of COVD-19 but through different components of the virus. The antigen test provides much quicker results than the PCR test, allowing patients to have their test results back in a matter of minutes or hours depending on testing volume, compared to a turnaround time of up to several days for the results of a PCR test. While an antigen test can provide quicker results, it isn’t as sensitive as the PCR test. A PCR test is able to detect small amounts of the virus, meaning that it can detect COVID-19 before symptoms appear.
A rapid antigen test can be used on anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that is looking for quick test results. However, for a rapid antigen test, there needs to be larger amounts of the virus present in the body in order to be detected by the antigen test, with the test appearing to be most effective after a minimum of 48 hours has passed since exposure. This means it is most accurate in detecting the virus once a person has started displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Antigen tests should be used in cases where quick results are needed in the presence of symptoms. That being said, antigen tests do have a higher rate of false negatives as they require a larger amount of the virus to be present, therefore people who test negative on an antigen test and have symptoms are recommended to follow up with a PCR test and isolate until results are returned. If someone receives positive results from an antigen test, they are considered to have COVID-19 and are required to isolate following the current isolation protocols for their region.
The biggest advantage of the rapid antigen test is the ability to provide quick test results back to patients who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. An antigen test can be performed through your doctor’s office, and you can receive your test results within the same day as they typically only take about 15 minutes to process in the clinic itself. After your test, we will provide you with instructions for how to proceed and when and how you can expect to receive your test results. A positive test result from an antigen test allows for contact tracers and the patient themselves to reach out to individuals they came into contact within the few days leading up to the positive test result and let them know that they have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This enables those close contacts to isolate immediately and seek out their own testing to slow down the spread of the virus to other people.
If you want to learn more about this test, then we encourage you to contact our team of healthcare professionals at Physicians Express. We serve patients from St. Charles IL, Geneva IL, Batavia IL, South Elgin IL, West Chicago IL, North Aurora IL, Winfield IL, Bartlett IL, and Elgin IL.