Saturday, May 18, 2024

Home Covid-19 tests are valid for detecting new strains

Date:

Director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at the American Mayo Clinic, Dr. Matthew Pinker answers frequently asked questions about the expiration dates of home testing kits for “Covid-19” and their ability to detect new strains of the virus.

Home tests

* Validity of test instruments. At-home Covid-19 tests allow you to collect your own sample and detect active Covid-19 infection. But what if you have expired or outdated Covid-19 test kits at home in your cupboard?

Dr. Matthew Pinker says: Companies arbitrarily plan original test kits; Because the development of these at-home diagnostic tests was rapid. Therefore; Check your tools before throwing them away.

“Now three and a half years into the epidemic, these manufacturers have had the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the test over a longer period of time,” Dr. Pinker adds. “In many cases the expiration dates have been updated.”

Home Covid Test (Shutterstock)

Recommendations on accuracy of tests

-If you have test kits at home, search the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for updated expiration dates.

– “If you take a test after the expiration date and the test is positive, this is a reliable result, especially if you have a respiratory disease.

If you get a negative result from a test that’s past the expiration date, “I recommend making sure the test doesn’t have an extended expiration date.” Beyond that, you should get another test or ask your healthcare provider to collect a swab for lab testing before ruling you (Covid-19) free,” says Dr. Beneker.

Tracking current “corona” strains

* Can home tests detect current strains of “Covid-19”?

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– Yes, it should detect currently circulating covid-19 strains. The good news is that most of the changes to the virus within these new variants are in the spike protein, the part of the virus that attaches to cells.

“The protein that the antigen tests are looking for is a different protein where there aren’t many mutations,” says Dr. Pinker. “This allows us to say with confidence that these tests should pick up cyclic strains.”

Test results

*If the test comes back positive (confirmed), are you contagious? What if you test positive for coronavirus (Covid-19)?

Often, Dr. Benniker says, “when the home antigen test is positive, it means that this person is still secreting large amounts of viral protein.” “In most cases, that means the person is excreting that amount of virus, and it can be a large amount of virus that can spread from one person to another.” If you get a positive result, he adds. Antigen testing at home Consider risk of viral transmission. If the result is positive, you may be infected with Covid-19.

*But what if you develop symptoms and test negative?

“If you test negative at home and are still experiencing common symptoms of Covid-19, such as a sore throat, cough, fever and body aches, I recommend that you visit your healthcare provider and get tested.” Dr. Pinker says. This is because “the collected swab can be sent to the laboratory and tested based on the polymerase chain reaction. This will give us more reliable information about whether you are actually infected with (Covid-19) or not.

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When is the test done?

* When should you get tested for “COVID-19”?

Testing is recommended in some situations, Dr. Pinker says. Such as:

. Symptoms appear. If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or body aches.

. If you spend time with someone who has been confirmed to have the coronavirus (COVID-19).

. If you plan to visit someone who is at risk of serious illness. This includes someone with cancer, the elderly, or anyone taking medications that suppress their immune system. If you’re infected with the virus, don’t get yourself tested right away, Dr. Pinker says. “My advice is to wait a few days and not go straight home and get tested; This is because the virus does not have enough time to reach levels that would cause antigen tests to be positive. “Usually, I wait three days after that.”

. Exposure, then testing. If the result is negative, consider another test the next day or 48 hours later; Generally, by the fifth day after exposure, if you test negative within that time frame, you can clear the virus.

Atmospheric temperature and accuracy of tests

* Home temperature and “Covid-19” testsSince temperatures fluctuate greatly in geographic regions, would these tests be affected by hot or cold temperatures?

Information packages accompanying at-home antigen tests should provide information on storage conditions set by the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Pinker says. Here is a good read. “If you live in an area that experiences subzero weather, such as during the summer months, or temperatures above 100 degrees F (37.8 C), it’s always a good idea to check the package that comes with the test for acceptable storage conditions.

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* “Mayo Clinic News Network” – “Tribune Media” Services

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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