Here's What You Should Know About Covid-19 Testing

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It doesn't seem like Covid-19 is going away anytime soon. Therefore, Covid-19 testing is something we should all learn about. What kinds of tests are available for our use? When should we be taking these tests? Find out about these topics and more below:  

Types of Covid-19 Tests

There are two different types of Covid-19 tests that are typically utilized to identify a Covid infection in people. First is the viral test, which measures the viral load of Covid-19 in someone's body. Viral Covid tests involve getting samples from the mouth or nose. Viral tests are available in both rapid and laboratory versions. Rapid tests are purchased at pharmacies and then administered at home. Lab tests are done at the doctor's office or at a Covid testing site that is managed by your local authorities.

The second type of Covid test is an antibody variety. This type of test measures the number of antibodies that are in the blood after a Covid infection has been experienced. This type of test is not designed to diagnose a current Covid infection but instead is used to determine whether someone has previously been infected with Covid-19. Antibody tests can help you and your doctor determine how much natural immunity you have against the Covid-19 disease.

When to Take a Covid-19 Test

When you should take a Covid-19 test will depend on the information you want to glean from taking the test. If you feel ill or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you should take a rapid or laboratory viral test as soon as possible. Rapid tests can be done at a doctor's office or in the comfort of your own home.

If your test results are positive, you should follow CDC guidelines when it comes to quarantining, wearing a mask, and taking another test to ensure that your viral levels have depleted and that you won't be a danger to others that you come into contact with.

If you have already had Covid-19 and you want to find out how many antibodies you have to determine your protection levels from another infection, you can do so at any time by utilizing an antibody test. These tests are only administered at a medical facility by an authorized medical care professional, so you may have to make an appointment before you can take a test.

If you are ever in doubt, ask your physician for guidance and recommendations. They should be able to help you determine what test to take and when based on your current health status and your unique circumstances.