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How COVID-19 Tests Help To Track The Disease

  • November 23, 2020

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covid-19 test

The COVID-19 tests allow governments and health professionals to have a real scope of the spread of the virus in society, monitor the transmission chains of the disease, detect asymptomatic patients or those who at some point had Covid-19 and did not discover it, in addition to identifying the virus transmission by geographic areas and age groups, among other parameters. Primex Labs is part of the solution; giving tests to help the government and health officials get a good grip on this disease.

The Main Tests

There are two main types of tests used in the new COVID pandemic:

  • Rapid serological tests - also called "rapid tests" because they give results in 20 minutes and serve as the first detection filter
  • Molecular tests, which take about two hours for the result. To understand more about the tests, there are certain questions to be asked below:

What types of tests are available today for Covid-19?

There is the RT-PCR, or molecular test, that searches for the presence of viral ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and must be performed in a laboratory environment. There are also rapid serological tests that search for the presence of antibodies against the virus in an average of 20 minutes and without the need for a laboratory structure, and the Elisa and Clia tests, which also assess the presence of antibodies, but require a laboratory environment and achieves results in four hours.

However, the process of collecting, processing, and preparing samples for the beginning of tests in the laboratory also consumes time that is proportional to the volume of samples that the lab receives.

Related: Still Unsure About Hitting The Gym During COVID?

When should a person try to get tested?

If we are talking about a molecular test to detect the virus through samples of nasal discharge or from the patient's throat, from the third to the seventh day of symptoms, you can get the test done. There is already evidence that periods before and after these tests may still show positive results for Covid-19, however, it greatly increases the chance of a false negative test, that is, the person is infected, but it is not detected by the test.

Antibody Detection

In the case of tests for antibody detection, the information is even more controversial, but in general, it is believed that after seven days of symptoms, the detection in the blood of antibodies in the acute phase of the disease (IgM) begins, indicating recent contact with the virus. After 11 days of symptoms, antibodies associated with the convalescent phase of the disease (IgG) begin to be detected in the serum and remain for a longer period in our body and indicate the development of immunity, but do not guarantee protection. However, this dynamics of antibody generation is not yet fully confirmed, and many manufacturers present different performance of the tests, making the interpretations and conclusions about the stage of the disease and diagnostic certainty even more complex.