US Covid Test

PCR vs Rapid Test: Which Covid Test Is Better?

Covid test is the only way to identify if a person is infected by coronavirus!

If you suspect that you have the virus, you may wish to get a Covid test. During the initial days, there was a great demand for the Covid test. However, after vaccination, the testing rates decreased.

However, with the emergence of new variants like Delta and Omicron, there is an increase in demand for Covid tests again. 

Compared to earlier days, tests are easily available in most places. There are two different types of Covid tests: the Rapid test and the PCR test.

Both the tests are different but helps to detect the presence of coronavirus in your body. Now, you can easily book these tests online and take them to your home.

However, you need to select the right type of test to get accurate results. If you are confused between PCR vs Rapid test, we can help you. In this guide, we will review and compare the two tests and show you which is better. 

What Is PCR (Polymer Chain Reaction) Test?

PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction, and the test detects fragments of DNA from specific organisms. It is a useful diagnostic tool that helps doctors diagnose certain diseases. 

The PCR process can detect viral infection by detecting fragments of the virus’ DNA. This is the most common test used for detecting the covid-19 virus.  

In this type of test, a technician will use a swab to collect samples from your nose and throat. The sample is then taken to the lab and is tested using an enzyme solution. It is then amplified and examined to detect the virus.

PCR tests are used to detect the presence of viruses in blood or other fluids. The viral DNA is detected by a PCR test. This type of test is very accurate and can be used for many applications. The RNA in a patient’s blood and urine can be amplified by RT-PCR enzymes. Fluorescent dyes then bind to the viral DNA and are read by a machine.

The best thing about the PCR test is that it helps you to identify the variants of the covid-19 virus. It is highly reliable and often produces 100% accurate results. If you need urgent testing, this one is perfect. It takes only a few hours to obtain the results.

A PCR test is a diagnostic method that looks for specific genes or protein sequences in a sample of viral DNA. It requires a sample of the patient’s nose, throat, or swab. The swab is then processed to identify the genetic material of the virus. 

It is important to understand that a positive PCR result does not mean the infection is present. For example, a PCR test can give false-negative results if the viral DNA is dead.

PCR testing uses a sample from the nose or throat to determine the presence of a viral infection. It allows doctors to determine whether a patient has the virus and whether they need to seek treatment. 

Pros and Cons of PCR Test:

The biggest advantage of the PCR test is that it is highly accurate. There is no other Covid test that is as accurate as PCR. It can help you to detect viruses, even in asymptomatic people. The best thing is that you will be able to do this test at home.

The cons of this test are that it is expensive and takes more time compared to other tests. On top of that, it is very sensitive. For example, it will show positive even after a long time. Lastly, even if you conduct this test at home, the sample still needs to be sent to the lab. 

What Is the Rapid Antigen Test?

A Rapid test is a type of test that is performed in just a few minutes. A nasal swab is placed in a special tube, and the sample is mixed with buffer solution. The patient squirts three drops of the liquid into a reader, and the device will display the results as a single line. 

The control line appears first, then a second line appears. The COVID-19 result will appear as a faint, blue line in the second line. A false-negative result is considered invalid and must be re-done.

A rapid test focuses on measuring molecules on the surface of a virus. This means that it can be run at home and give results in as little as 15 minutes.

Using the Rapid Test and Trace method, patients can test for HIV, co-infections, and many other diseases and conditions. The process is easy to perform, and the results are usually available in less than one hour. 

This method is best if you are experiencing symptoms at the beginning of the infection and want to rule out other causes of the illness. 

Rapid antigen tests are also accurate when the virus load in a human body is high. This method will not detect symptoms of the flu or an underlying disease if you have a low antibody level or have never been sick. 

Unlike PCR, the Rapid antigen test does not require a laboratory visit. Nevertheless, a positive result will help healthcare professionals make the appropriate decisions in a timely manner. It’s best to seek medical advice from a doctor if you think you may have a health condition.

Pros and Cons of Rapid Test:

A rapid antigen test can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic. You can do it at home as well. The turnaround time is very short. You can get results in less than an hour. On top of that, it costs less than a PCR test.

If you need repeated testing, this test is perfect as it helps you to detect the virus at its peak. It also helps you to differentiate common symptoms of cold or flu from coronavirus. 

However, this test is less accurate than the PCR test. It will only work if you have symptoms. This test is not for asymptomatic patients. The accuracy of this test depends on the sample you collect. If there is an error in sample collection, it will lead to false negative or false positive. 

PCR vs Rapid Test: Which Test You Should Choose?

When it comes to Covid-19 testing, there is no such thing as a right or wrong test. However, the type of test you need to choose depends on time, accuracy, symptoms and situation.

If you have symptoms and want to get quick results, a Rapid test is the best choice. It will help you to know whether the symptoms are because of coronavirus. You will get test results within an hour, and it is less expensive.

PCR vs rapid test is often a question of price and time, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. PCR tests are more sensitive than rapid antigen tests and can detect coronavirus infection at any stage, including asymptomatic cases. 

The difference between a PCR and a rapid test is that the PCR test is more sensitive. This is because it looks for the virus’ DNA sequence, whereas the rapid test is more accurate and gives results right on the spot. 

The rapid test, however, is more convenient and is more accurate for symptomatic patients. The latter tests look for COVID proteins and antigens, which are found in large amounts in the first seven days after the onset of symptoms.

So, if you don’t have symptoms but just want to confirm whether you have coronavirus, you can go with a PCR test. It is more accurate and will give your clear results. You can also take this test after several negative Rapid tests.