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The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm. Consequently, scientists and governments have made concerted efforts towards eradicating the menace. One way this is done is by aggressive testing for Covid-19, to enable people to know their status and make informed decisions.
Within the UK, the NHS is the primary institution mandated to administer the Polymerase Chain Reaction test (or the PCR test). But besides the NHS, there are some select high-end outlets that also offer the test.
A PCR test involves the analysis of the virus’s genetic material or RNA. They are currently ranked as the most sensitive when it comes to detecting Covid 19 infection and they are also highly accurate. However, though reliable, the test comes with several downsides;
- It takes a long time; its results can take up to two weeks to be out.
- It is expensive compared to Rapid Tests (discussed below).
- Its high demand makes its availability tricky in some areas.
For this reason, Rapid Antigen testing has been widely adopted for both clinical, home, and workplace testing for Covid 19 infections.
But what is Rapid Antigen Testing?
Covid -19 Rapid Antigen test is a quick way to determine whether one is likely to be infected with the coronavirus.
It is a high performing test that has been used in the UK in cases where the PCR test is not readily available.
Through Rapid Antigen Testing, an individual’s mucous secretions are examined for traces of a protein produced by the SARs-CoV-2 virus during the early stages of infection.
The presence of such proteins serves as a strong indicator that the person might be Covid-19 positive.
Unlike the PCR test, the Rapid Antigen test results can take as little as 15 minutes to be out.
How Rapid Antigen Testing Works.
Like the PCR tests, Rapid Antigen tests use nasal cotton swabs to collect a mucous sample from the test subject. One of the most popular antigen tests is the Healgen COVID-19, Rapid Antigen test, an in vitro immunochromatographic assay that detects nucleocapsid proteins (proteins produced by the SARs-CoV-2 virus) in a mucous sample.
The SARs-CoV-2 virus is coated with these specific proteins, which are detectable during the early stages of Coronavirus infection.
A Healgen Rapid Antigen test kit comes in the form of a cassette. To administer the test, the medic first allows both the test materials and the sample to be at room temperature.
He then lays out the materials and sets up the testing apparatus as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
A nasal swab is then collected from the test subject’s nasal passage. The mucous sample from the swab is then mixed with the testing solution and set aside for some minutes.
Four drops of this solution are then placed in the test cassette, and in a few moments, the test results appear on the cassette result window.
These results are presented in the form of horizontal bars.
Understanding Antigen Test Results.
The presence of two horizontal bars on the result window is indicative of a positive result. On the other hand, if only one bar appears on the control line segment, this indicates a negative result.
However, if neither bar appears, this indicates an invalid test result, which means that the test must not have been conducted properly.
You have to conduct the test afresh in such a case, using a new set of swabs.
The good news is that for every pack of the Healgen Covid-19 Rapid Antigen test kit, you get 20 test sets. Therefore, even in the event of an invalid test, you can comfortably conduct a new test.
How useful is Antigen Testing?
With the results of Antigen testing at hand, you are better placed to know whether to self-isolate or not.
This information is beneficial for persons intending to travel or meet loved ones as it empowers and enables you to protect them.
Bear in mind that asymptomatic individuals may present positive results even though they present no symptoms. In this case, the test result would help one avoid spreading the virus, even though they show no symptoms.
Since it is affordable and results are fast, Antigen testing is the best option for mass use. Also, the Healgen Covid-19 Rapid Antigen tests can be stored at room temperature. It gives results in a fraction of the time taken by PCR tests.
Where to get a Reliable Antigen Test.
One of the most reliable providers of Covid-19 Rapid Antigen tests is HandStations.co.uk.
Although their Healgen Covid-19 Antigen test kits are recommended for use by medical personnel, they can also be used in home testing provided one relies on their knowledge and judgment in doing so.
Governmental approval of the Healgen Covid-19 test kit for home use was formally given in December 2020.
Currently, the UK Government is in the process of facilitating a wider distribution of the Healgen Covid-19 Antigen test to expedite and ramp up mass testing.
The test has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and presently retails at £98.99 for a pack of 20 tests.
Aside from antigen testing kits, HandStation.co.uk also produces antibody test kits, Covid-19 sanitization products such as hand sanitizers, hand sanitizer dispensers, PPE products, and surface wipes.
For those who wish to always be in the know about their Coronavirus status, Healgen Covid-19 Antigen test kits are the way to go.
Not only do you learn of your current status, but you are also armed with knowledge which informs your social interactions.
And to cap it all off, these results are available within a very short time, making mass testing that much easier.