Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from mild cold symptoms to severe pneumonia. The most recent outbreak began in China in December 2019 and has spread worldwide. In this article, we will discuss the different types of coronaviruses, how they are tested for, and which test is best for you.
There are two main types of coronavirus testing available today: molecular and serological. Molecular testing detects the virus itself by looking at genetic material (RNA) found in the body. Serological testing looks for antibodies produced by the immune system as a response to infection. Both types of testing are used to diagnose COVID-19.
Types of Tests
There are three main types of coronaviruses tests available today: molecular, serological, and antigen detection.
Molecular testing uses PCR technology to detect the presence of viral RNA in the blood. This type of test is considered the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19. It is also the only method that can identify people who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, even after they recover.
Serological testing involves detecting the presence of antibodies against the virus. These antibodies are produced by the immune system when an individual has been exposed to the virus. They are not present until several days after exposure.
Antigen detection tests use immunoassays to detect the presence of antigens associated with the virus. Antigens are proteins made by the virus that cause the symptoms of COVID-19. These tests are typically less accurate than other methods because they cannot distinguish between past infections and current ones.
Where Can I Find Them?
Molecular testing is currently the most widely used method for diagnosing COVID 19. You can order these tests online through private companies or government agencies. Private companies offer rapid results while government agencies usually take longer to process samples.
You can also purchase them at local pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. If you do decide to go to a clinic or hospital, make sure to bring your own mask and gloves.
fluorecare® SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combi-Test€7.95 Incl. VAT
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Acon FlowFlex Lollipop Self Test – Saliva Test€3.50 Incl. VAT
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Abbott Panbio Corona rapid test (Nasopharyngeal) 25 pieces€129.00 Incl. VAT
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5 x Acon FlowFlex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Corona Rapid Test (Nose) * Approved by RIVM *Product on saleIncl. VAT
Deepblue Corona Rapid Test – Mouth Swab / Lollypop€4.45 Incl. VAT
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How Long Does it Take?
It depends on the type of test you need. A molecular test will give you an answer within 24 hours. This is the fastest option available. However, it does not provide any information about how severe the infection is.
A serological test will give you a result after 2 weeks. These tests detect antibodies produced by the body as part of its immune response to the virus. They are therefore able to determine whether you were infected with the virus.
If you are concerned about the severity of your symptoms, you should consider getting a PCR test. This test detects viral RNA directly in the sample. It provides faster results than other tests and can help identify people who are still contaminated.