Three of our most frequently asked questions about Rapid Antigen Tests
What are RATs (Rapid Antigen Tests)?
If the COVID-19 coronavirus proteins are present in your body, rapid antigen testing can identify them.
COVID-19 can occasionally be detected by RATs before symptoms appear. If you don't have any symptoms, they're less reliable and might give you misleading negative or positive findings.
RATs are rapid, with results arriving in 10 to 20 minutes. You may perform the test at home, on your own time, and without the assistance of a doctor.
How accurate are Rapid Antigen Tests?
COVID-19 may be detected by RATs during the 'acute' phase of infection, notably shortly before symptoms occur and a week after they do. However, they aren't as accurate as PCR testing.
To achieve an accurate result, it's critical to follow the directions on the box.
What do I do when I get the result?
If your test is positive, you should isolate it for at least 7 days at home. Check your local health department's website to see if your state or territory requires you to report your result or confirm it with a PCR test.
If you have no or just minor symptoms, visit your doctor. If you have COVID-19, here's what you should do. Only if your symptoms are severe should you dial triple zero (000) or go to an emergency room.
If you're 65 or older, pregnant, have any chronic diseases, or have any health concerns, contact your GP or health agency. Your evaluation may take place over the phone or via video.
If it's negative but you're still experiencing symptoms or feeling unwell, schedule a PCR test. If the PCR test comes back negative and you don't have any symptoms or aren't feeling well, simply keep an eye on your symptoms.
It's possible to obtain an 'invalid' result, which indicates that the test failed. You'll see an example of an invalid outcome in the instructions. Remove the test and replace it with a fresh one.
We stock both the Oral Tests and Nasal Swab versions of Rapid Antigen Tests online at Michael's Chemist.