PCR Test vs. Rapid Antigen Test, what are the difference?

COVID-19 testing is essential in the worldwide effort to tackle the pandemic and its threats to public health and safety. Many people heavily rely on testing to safely resume work, travel, and live their everyday lives, with Covid fit to fly certificate becoming a travel requirement to get to places. There are also standard safety practices such as scanning people’s temperatures through thermal scanners and asking questions about their travel history, all of which are efforts to help mitigate the virus’s risks.

There are different types of tests available for identifying the individuals carrying the virus, the diagnostic test, and the antibody test.

PCR Tests

The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, or the RT-PCR test, can detect the virus’s genetic material, which is also considered the gold standard in detecting active cases. It can deliver the most accurate results that repeating tests are highly unlikely. Individuals can freely take a test like the PCR test Cambridge if they feel like they have the virus or a doctor’s advice. Usually, the turnaround time for a PCR Test generally takes 2 to 3 days, but it can also produce results in less than 24 hours.

Antigen Tests or Rapid Antigen Tests

This test is also commonly known as a Rapid Antigen test. This test has a quick turnaround time compared to the PCR test. Antigen tests are done by checking antibodies in the blood that can help determine if a person has a history of contracting the virus in the past. It is less expensive, and getting the results can take you only about 20 to 30 minutes. This test makes it a high demand as a preferred option for testing many people at a certain time. Antigen tests can detect specific fragments of the virus, and its results are usually highly accurate. However, there are also cases wherein false positives may happen.

If you’re looking for more information about the difference between PCR tests and Rapid Antigen Tests, here is an infographic created and designed by Harley Medic International.

PCR Test Vs. Rapid Antigen Test, what are the difference-02

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