What Does The Covid 19 Testing Include?

Since the onset of 2020, the entire world was gripped with a pandemic called COVID. This pandemic caused unprecedented damage to both health and economic front. As of now, there are over 5 million cases and around 3.50 lakh deaths. Across the world, about 40 countries are either under entire or partial lockdown. The containment of the pandemic is the need of the hour. During such times, rapid testing is essential. Thousands of patients have already recovered from the virus.

But more can be done through coordinated efforts for accelerating research and subsequently save lives. This is where the COVID-19 Test kit comes to the picture. Though there are several vaccines and potential therapies under trial, there is no cure to this pandemic yet. In the absence of either, testing becomes a valuable tool. Despite public authorities implementing tremendous rules, most of the countries are underprepared and hence, are facing community transmission before adequate testing was enabled for quick tracking and isolation.

This picture is changing now as many healthcare and medical companies have introduced testing kits. These are increasingly available, and the testing gets defined under two categories – viral RNA and serological tests. These detect the hosts’ response to the virus.

Viral RNA

It is the preliminary test which detects COVID through RT-PCR kit. Viral RNA is the first quantitative reverse transcriptase RT-PCR tests which are accessible in laboratories across the world, thanks to WHO. Since, the complexity and widespread of the tests have necessitated the development of alternative PCR testing strategies at a local level.

Also, since these tests are relatively new, you should note that real clinical sensitivity is unknown. Therefore, a negative result does not mean the person is not infected. Despite these cons, RT-PCR kit testing remains the backbone of virus testing. It helps to identify those who are infected and manage the patients efficiently along with mitigation strategies for preventing the spread of the virus.

Although testing is available at a large scale, the current demand has led to short supply. Hence, medical companies are coming with their COVID-19 test kit.

Serological tests

The other emerging tests is that one that recognises immunoglobulins present in the blood. This identifies antibody-antigen for determining whether the patient was exposed to the virus. The more people contract and recover from this disease, the tests help paint picture of the viral spread among populations and handle social restrictions by providing historical information concerning viral exposure along with diagnostic evidence.

With these serological tests, you can trace the virus and still being developed. They take longer to carry out and currently limitedly available. With companies developing immunoassays for COVID 19, further research needs refined methods. Multiple tests need to get standardised at an international level for offering the best solutions. Also, there is no guarantee if the one infected would not get affected in the future.

It is important to note that different tests serve a varied purpose in managing the pandemic. Where RT-PCR kit enables point-of-care, acute detection of those infected with COVID, with time serological tests checks upon contact tracing.

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