Rapid Test

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Definition - What does Rapid Test mean?

A rapid test refers to two distinct test types including antigen tests and molecular-based sequencing tests, noted for detecting pathogens related to the coronavirus following a case of recent infection (an individual who has already had the virus). The administration of rapid tests involves a tissue swab to collect a fluid sample from the mucus lining of the nasal/oral cavity by patients to isolate antigens marking COVID-19 infection.

SureHire explains Rapid Test

While rapid tests are convenient, simple to use, and have a quick turnaround of results (15 minutes), low homeostatic reactivity due to a gradual buildup of antibodies following the incubation period toward immunity remains problematic against false-negative cases. Consequently, rapid test alternatives such as antigen tests are a dynamic approach to distinguish between individuals presenting symptoms following the onset of infection and unaffected individuals. Though a rapid test can furnish adequate evidence of recent coronavirus infection, molecular-based variations feature a higher sensitivity. The upsurge of access to rapid test procedures carries far-reaching implications across Canada, boosted by legislation maneuvering to back employers throughout provincial and territorial jurisdictions with available resources to diminish the morbidity rate against COVID-19 infection. Though rapid tests serve as a vehicle for early detection of antigens, their reliability is often inferred from the point of exposure throughout the incubation period, accounting for the manifestation of symptoms/asymptomatic episodes suggesting infection. Individuals should consult their healthcare provider if a rapid test result indicates negative, prompting additional testing measures. For instance, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an advanced form of diagnostic testing for catalyzing (breaking down) molecular proteins, or antigens, often used for confirming a positive test result related to the COVID-19 strain.

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