With the COVID-19 virus spreading rapidly, you can get infected at any time. You may have even had an infection in the past without your awareness. At The Doctor’s House in West New York, New Jersey, Daniel Maenner, DO, offers viral COVID-19 testing for current infections and antibody testing for past infections. Testing and encouraging others to get tested is one of many ways to help control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. To schedule your COVID-19 testing, call or book online today.
What is COVID-19 testing?
COVID-19 testing is a way to find out if you’re currently infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or if you were infected in the past and have antibodies as a result.
A viral test tells you if you have a current infection, while an antibody test detects proteins in your blood that indicate a prior infection.
Detecting a current COVID-19 infection can help you know when to quarantine and let others know to get tested if they’ve been in contact with you. In this way, COVID-19 testing helps control the spread of the disease.
Even if your test results are negative, you should continue to follow guidelines and protocols to help protect yourself and others.
Which types of COVID-19 testing are available?
There are three main types of COVID-19 tests, all of which are available at The Doctor’s House. Your provider guides you through the process and helps you interpret the results as soon as they’re available. You can get:
PCR nasal swab test
A PCR test, also called a viral test or a molecular test, requires a sample from the inside of your nose. To get this sample, your provider uses a long swab to remove fluid from far in the back of your nasal cavity. They test the sample for genes from the virus.
A rapid test, also called an antigen test, involves a sample from either your nasal cavity or saliva from your mouth.
Your provider tests the sample for proteins from the virus currently in your system, and you can get the results as quickly as 15 minutes later. This test includes a higher chance of a false negative result than PCR nasal swab tests.
An antibody test detects antibodies, which are proteins left behind by a prior COVID-19 infection. Antibodies are disease-specific and help your body fight off future infections.
If you have antibodies, you should still continue following protection protocols as the protection may not be absolute. Experts continue to study the virus and its antibodies to find out more.
When should I get COVID-19 testing?
Even if you’re strict about washing your hands frequently, maintaining a six-foot distance from others, and wearing a mask while in public, there are reasons why you might consider getting a COVID-19 test or antibody test.
Your provider at The Doctor’s House might encourage you to get a COVID-19 test if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19
- You’ve been in close contact with someone who tested positive
- You want to confirm the results of a previous test
Immediately after your viral test, you should start your time in quarantine just in case the results of your test are positive.
You should forgo the test and go to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing, chest tightness, confusion, or other severe symptoms of COVID-19.