Is Your At-Home COVID-19 Test Accurate? What You Need To Know
Even with the level of COVID-19 cases sloping downward, the virus is still a major medical issue that needs constant awareness. Because of this, the need for testing is still necessary in many instances. Many people have turned to at-home test kits. The kits are easy to use and are conveniently taken at home. However, you may wonder if they are as accurate as a test you take in a doctor's office or medical facility. The following are some things you should know about at-home COVID-19 test kits:
Why Do People Test at Home?
Taking a test at home is very convenient in most cases. You simply set up the test kit, swab your nose, and await the results. You do not have to worry about making an appointment for a test, driving to the location, and waiting for the technician to call you in. However, the standard for proper testing is to have a sample collected by a medical professional to make certain the results are accurate. Some people take an at-home test as an extra measure to ensure they are not infected before they go in public places after being tested by a medical professional. No matter your reason for testing at home, you must carefully follow the instructions on the test kit and fully understand how to read the results.
What Types of Tests Can You Take at Home?
Before you choose any at-home COVID-19 test, check to ensure the test kit is authorized by the FDA. This should be located on the test. There are two types of tests you can get to take at home. A PCR test will have you collect your sample and send it through the mail for testing in a lab. A rapid antigen test will have you collect your sample, use supplies in the kit, and provide you with a result within a few minutes.
Should You Trust the Results of an At-Home Test?
Ideally, you should be able to trust the results you get from your at-home test. However, there can be some errors that occur which can impact your result. The collection of your sample is one issue that can result in an inaccurate test. If you do not read the results of a rapid antigen test in the allotted timeframe, you may misinterpret the results as well. You also could have a test that is not backed by the FDA and therefore is not necessarily accurate. No matter the reason, if you have any inkling that your test result is not valid or if you have persisting symptoms and continue to get a negative result, you need to take action. One option is to take another at-home test if you have one to see if the results are the same. You may also want to schedule an in-person test with a medical professional to ensure your test is performed correctly.
To learn more, contact a COVID-19 testing location in your area.