As the world takes the steps to transition into a post-pandemic state, some health and safety protocols may remain. That includes the need for COVID-19 testing. Fortunately, there are now affordable and reliable tests that can help detect Coronavirus. One of those is the at-home COVID-19 antigen test kits.
Antigen test kits are easy to use, affordable, fast, and widely available. While it can be done without the help of a health professional, it is important to ensure that the accuracy of testing won’t be compromised even when done at home. To guide you, here are some of the tips that will help you yield accurate results from antigen test kits.
Useful Tips to Make the Most of Antigen Test Kits
1. Use Legit Antigen Test Kits
At a time when counterfeit products are rampant, you have to be careful in making a purchase. When it comes to antigen test kits, choose those with FDA approval and have been granted emergency use authorization.
2. Follow Manufacturer Instructions
The accuracy of antigen test kits will also depend on how the sample was collected. There are specific instructions for different COVID-19 test kits. To be guided, make sure to check and follow manufacturer instructions. This is the most dependable way to get quality samples and increase the accuracy of test results.
3. Use an Antigen Test Kit Once
Antigen test kits are not designed to be reused or shared. Reusing it will be unsanitary and may compromise your health due to the risk of infection. It will also prevent you from getting accurate results. No matter how much you want to save on the cost of antigen test kits, remember, as a rule of thumb, to not reuse or share.
4. Do Not Use a Different Swab
An antigen test kit comes with a designated swab. This material is designed to be used with a certain test kit. Although a swab may look ordinary and even have similarities with the usual cotton swab, never use a swab other than what comes with the package. Antigen test swabs are made of unique material that ensures testing compatibility. When another swab is used, result inaccuracies are highly possible.
5. Prevent Unnecessary Damages
As antigen test kits have important purposes, you have to ensure that they will be handled with care. Keep them in a dedicated space where they won’t be accidentally dropped or bumped. Although they are sturdy, it comes with components like an internal test strip that might get damaged. Once damages occur, inaccuracies may happen or an antigen test kit may no longer be usable.
5. Follow the Recommended Time to Check Results
It is important to follow the recommended time for checking. The sensitivity of the antigen test kit must be considered. Checking too soon or too late could impact the accuracy of the results. Once time is up, check the results and don’t come back at a later time to recheck as it could lead to false positive or false negative results.
6. Confirm with a PCR Test when Necessary
People with flu-like symptoms but yielded negative test results from an antigen test may need a molecular PCR test for 100% accuracy. Others recommend doing the antigen testing twice. This is due to the ideal window time of the viral load which may not yet be enough during the early stage of the infection. When antigen testing is done 48 hours later, the sensitivity of the test kit is higher as the virus already has the chance to replicate and produce more proteins.
The importance of antigen test kits cannot be underestimated as they help in the prevention of COVID-19 and control of its spread. With the proper procedures in place, you can rely on the accuracy of the results and comply with the necessary measures based on the results.
BestLab offers Wondfo SARS Cov-2 Swab Antigen test kits that are FDA-approved and have emergency use certification. Send us a message for inquiries.