The COVID-19 pandemic truly transformed the way the world was functioning. Thankfully, slowly things are getting back to normal. This is also why it is important to be fully aware of the pandemic situation, especially if you are going out for work or personal reasons. Though there is enough information being passed on by the government and news channels, sometimes there are confusions regarding the information. In this blog, let us talk about the tests that are used to detect the SARS- Coronavirus. These tests are known as RT-PCR tests. These tests are completely safe for kids, pregnant women etc, people in isolation who have self-diagnosed, patients with piles, intestinal issues etc. You can even take the RT-PCR test in the comfort of your home.
What documents does one require to get tested for COVID?
- Prescription for COVID-19 test from a medical health professional
- Government photo-id such as Aadhar card, License etc.
- Duly filled Specimen Referral Form
What is the RT-PCR test?
The RT-PCR test (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) is used to test the lower and upper respiratory specimens such as nasopharyngeal, swabs and sputum for patients suspected to be affected with the Coronavirus. These samples are collected and sent to a lab to check if the virus is present or not. In the RT-PCR test, lab technicians extract an acid called Ribonucleic Acid or RNA which is a genetic material for the SARS virus. The test is confirmed positive once the technicians find RNA in the samples. The test is expensive due to many factors such as the requirement of trained professionals, RNA extraction machines and labs. These tests take a minimum of 4 hours to get the result of whether RNA is present in the sample or not.
Are there any side effects to the test?
There are no side effects to taking the RT-PCR test. There is however a chance of getting false-negative or false-positive results. There will be no side effects for people who submit samples. These are completely safe for kids, elderly and pregnant women. It is harmless, however, one must only take it in an authorised hospital or clinic to avoid false-positives or negatives.
When should I take an RT-PCR test?
Anybody experiencing dry cough, fever, fatigue, body ache, loss of taste and smell, chest pain and difficulty in breathing should definitely take the test. Additionally, it is responsible for people who travelled, been in a crowded space, come in contact with an infected person to take the test.