COVID-19 variants and case numbers are rising. Similarly, a lot of information is circulating concerning COVID-19 testing. Some are true. But some are just myths.
Accurate information and COVID-19 testing are critical to combating the coronavirus. We’ve compiled the common misconceptions about COVID-19.
It’s time to dispel these myths.
COVID-19 Tests Are Only Required If You Have Symptoms
Experts have recommended that one should get tested even if one does not show symptoms. Converging lines of evidence have shown that 1 out of 3 persons with COVID-19 do not show any noticeable symptoms. Hence, one could transmit the virus without even knowing.
Hence, whether you have active symptoms of COVID-19 or not, you still need to get tested. Similarly, you do not have to wait till you come in close contact with an infected person before you get tested. Testing is an effective way to stay informed about your status and also protect yourself and others.
Too Much Testing Is Responsible For The Surge In COVID-19 Cases
Some individuals blame the persistent surge in COVID-19 cases on COVID-19 testing. But that’s not true. Experts have confirmed that COVID-19 tests do not cause more cases of COVID-19. This myth usually results from having lots of positive test results within a particular community.
High positive test results within a community do not mean the tests are responsible for the cases, but the transmission rate is high in that community. Hence, testing is key to controlling the coronavirus because it allows experts to know the transmission rate within a community. As COVID-19 cases are increasing, testing is a safe way to protect yourself and your loved ones.
PCR Is A Better Method for COVID-19 Testing Than Antigen Tests
Currently, two major types of tests exist for detecting COVID-19. The first one is the polymerase chain reaction (commonly called the PCR test). The PCR test works by finding a small piece of the genetic material of the virus.
The antigen test, on the other hand, identifies specific antigens or protein fragments of the virus. Both tests are effective in detecting COVID-19 depending on the use case. The antigen test, for instance, is no doubt faster and very accurate in detecting the virus in those who are already showing symptoms.
But when a person is only recently infected, antigen tests may miss these early cases of infection, so PCR tests are preferable. However, a positive result from an antigen test due to active symptoms suggests the presence of the virus and is very reliable.
This informs the person to start isolating and preventing the spread of the virus. A negative result, on the other hand, may suggest low levels of the virus if they’re present and should be confirmed with a PCR test.
You Do Not Have To Wear Masks and Take Precautions If You Test Negative For COVID-19
COVID-19 tests can be viewed as snapshots in time. That is, if you test negative, no virus was detected in your system at the time of the test. Possibly, the levels of virus in your system were too low to be detected.
Similarly, it is possible to contract the infection shortly after taking the test if safety guidelines are not followed. Hence, a negative test and no history of a positive one does not guarantee immunity against the virus and is not a license to stop practicing safety precautions such as social distancing and wearing of facial masks.
COVID-19 Tests Are Highly Uncomfortable Because They Go Deep Into The Nose
During the earlier stages of the pandemic, testing for COVID-19 required swabs to be inserted deep to the point where your nose meets your pharynx. This was uncomfortable for many people. Now, experts have changed the testing criteria to just the middle part of the nasal passage and still get up to 82 – 88% accurate results.
Getting peace of mind and keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during this pandemic begins by knowing your status. At Rapid Care, we prioritize accuracy and effectiveness. Schedule a convenient same-day PCR testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN.