Answers to some FAQ on rapid antigen tests

We’ve taken the effort to provide answers to some commonly asked questions about rapid antigen tests that you may be wondering about.

Is there a certain brand of rapid antigen tests that I should purchase?

Neither the Department of Health nor the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have endorsed any specific brand of rapid antigen tests. When purchasing a kit, you should look for the letters ‘CE’ on the box to ensure that the product is safe. This indicates that the test complies with European health, safety, and environmental protection regulations. The European Commission also maintains a list of rapid antigen tests that have been scientifically confirmed, which it updates on a regular basis.

Do you know how long it takes?

Although not all rapid antigen tests are the same, it is recommended that you wait around 15 minutes before receiving your results. There are explicit instructions for each exam, including what you should perform and how long it should take.

What exactly is included inside the box?

Typically, each package will include a set of instructions, a sterile swab, an extraction tube with a dropper tip that has been pre-filled with bacteria, and a test cassette.

Do you know what the very first thing I do is?

As previously said, the very first thing that needs to be done is to read the directions completely. This will help to ensure that your test is as accurate as it can be.

After that, make certain that the location where you will be doing the test has been completely cleansed and that your hands have been thoroughly washed.

Removing the swab and cassette from their containers, as well as peeling the foil off the tube Stability should be checked by inserting the tube containing the solution into the test kit hole. learn more about rapid antigen tests by clicking here.

Then, using the swab, enter it approximately 2cm into your nose and roll it around about 5 times to ensure that it makes excellent contact with the interior of your nostril. This procedure should be repeated with the opposite nostril.

Is it uncomfortable?

This phase in the testing process should not be detrimental. You may be swabbing farther or with more power than you should be if this happens to you. Even while it may feel a little unpleasant at first, it is a short procedure that takes just a few seconds.

In the next step, dip the absorbent end of the swab into the solution and roll it around well, about 6 times, squeezing the sides of the tube to ensure that the swab contents are thoroughly absorbed into the solution.

I’m not sure how long I should keep the swab in the tube.

There is no indication or color change that it is ready to be placed on the cassette, but if you’re worried, set a timer for one or two minutes to ensure that it is completed in that amount of time.

Once this is completed, remove the swab and close the tube with the lid that has been given. Use a tiny trash bag to put the swab in if one is available. It should be discarded if it does not meet these requirements.

After you’ve placed four drops of solution into the testing gadget, you’ll need to wait.

What does the letter ‘C’ and the letter ‘T’ stand for?

They are an abbreviation for ‘control’ and ‘test.’ Their definitions aren’t that crucial; what is vital is that you take notice of what the lines next to them are indicating.

A single line on the C indicates a poor outcome. A good result would be shown by two lines, one on C and the other on T. If there are no lines registered at all, the test is invalid.

Can I be confident in the outcome of my experiment?

As has been noted several times, PCR rapid antigen tests are the most accurate method of testing for Covid-19. A PCR test may diagnose a Covid-19 infection even before the individual becomes infectious, which is beneficial in many situations. PCR testing is capable of detecting extremely little levels of virus, and as a result, it may be useful for a longer length of time after a person has been infected.

On the other hand, a rapid antigen tests is used to identify patients who are at the height of their illness, when their bodies have the largest quantity of viral proteins.

The test will detect the virus in the majority of individuals who are experiencing symptoms; but, in certain situations, the test may fail to detect the virus at all, especially in those who are experiencing no symptoms.

What happens if my results are found to be invalid?

If your test is invalid, you must restart the whole procedure with a different test.

If my findings come back negative, am I free to continue socializing as usual?

If you are not experiencing any symptoms, then certainly, but only theoretically. People are being urged to reduce their socializing by public health officials right now.

Dr. Tony Holohan, the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services, underlined the significance of limiting contact and avoiding crowds, wearing a mask appropriately, and avoiding poorly ventilated indoor settings last week.

Even if you produce a negative antigen test, you should still isolate yourself if you are experiencing symptoms. In addition to Covid, hospitals are dealing with the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), norovirus (the winter vomiting bug), and influenza, all of which have symptoms that are comparable to Covid.

What happens if my test results are positive?

You should separate yourself as soon as possible and arrange for PCR rapid antigen tests to validate the results.

If you begin to feel really sick, especially if your breathing changes, becomes difficult, or your cough grows worse, you should contact your primary care physician or an after-hours physician. This is also the proper course of action if you are becoming more out of breath.

How often should I be doing rapid antigen tests while I’m out and about with friends?

A recommendation made last week by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) urged that persons who often attend nightclubs, pubs, and restaurants should have antigen testing performed twice weekly.

According to the organization, this would include persons who participate in higher-risk indoor activities including multi-household activity.