COVID-19 is the worst health crisis that the world has witnessed in recent years. The pandemic has devastated everyone through social and economic disruptions. Currently, it has killed almost 3.2 million people globally, while others have been left without a source of income due to the introduction of lockdowns and other containment measures. Health specialists believe that COVID-19 testing is vital in managing the spread of the virus.
Why Is COVID-19 Testing Important?
Whenever there is an outbreak of a major communicable disease, the primary response for public health professionals is early testing. Countries have embraced aggressive testing as a way of limiting the spread of the coronavirus. This testing serves six main purposes:
- Quick identification of cases.
- Quick treatment of those who are infected.
- Immediate isolation of the infected.
- Contact tracing of anyone who may have come into contact with those who have tested positive for the virus.
- Hospitalization for those who need critical care, such as ICU or HDU care.
- Helping public health officers to characterize the prevalence of the pandemic.
The United States has been undertaking mass testing as an effective way of combating the spread of the disease.
Types of COVID-19 Tests
If you are thinking of getting COVID-19 testing, it's good you know the available testing options. While some are based on mucus, others use blood or saliva. Some diagnostic tests look for active coronavirus in your saliva or mucus, while blood tests look for antibodies produced as your body attempts to fight the virus.
Here are different types of COVID-19 tests that you should know about:
- Molecular Test: This test is the most sensitive one in detecting an active coronavirus infection. When undertaking this test, a healthcare provider will collect mucus from your throat or nose using a special swab. If you have a testing kit, you can also collect your own sample for self-testing.
- Antigen Test: A healthcare provider will swab the back of your nose to collect a testing sample during an antigen test. Unlike the molecular test, the antigen test is quicker and can be used to screen large numbers of people, such as in schools, airports, or workplaces.
- Antibody Test: Unlike the other two, this test does not diagnose an active COVID-19 infection. The doctor or clinician will take blood samples and look for antibodies produced as your immune system tried to fight the disease pathogen.
Although there are many ways of combating the spread of the coronavirus, testing is the most effective one. COVID-19 testing is easy and quick and plays a significant role in saving lives.