Half hour results! New crown quick test twice a week! What all do you need to know?
01. What is a rapid lateral flow assay?
In the early stages of a novel coronavirus pandemic, there were two main types of tests. One is called a PCR test, which targets viral DNA to confirm whether a person currently has the new coronavirus; the other targets antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 to determine whether people have the disease and produce antibodies.
As research on viruses intensifies, by the end of 2020, a new test is beginning to emerge that looks for viral particles called antigens. A lateral flow test is a type of antigen test that detects if a person is infected with a novel coronavirus by looking for proteins on the surface of the virus.
In layman's terms, the test strips used for the rapid cross-flow test are similar to those used for early pregnancy tests, and there is not much difference in the testing process and feedback on the results.
Compared to previous testing methods, its main advantage is that it is fast and convenient, without the 24-48 hour waiting time of PCR testing, and the horizontal flow test only takes about half an hour to produce results.
In addition, it is a simple test that does not require the use of professional laboratory equipment and can be done step by step using a simple test kit.
This obviously significantly reduces the time and material cost of virus testing.
02. How to perform the rapid horizontal flow test?
1. Prepare for the test: Clean the table, clean the nasal passages and hands. Check the test kit for damage and read the test kit manual.
2. Carefully peel off the facial tag and rub it on the tonsils, four times on each side of the tonsils. Then place the swab in the nostril and slowly roll each nostril about 10 times.
3. Open the test solution and squeeze it into the test tube vial. Place the swab into the bottom of the provided test vial and press the tip of the swab against the edge of the test tube while rotating the cotton for 15 seconds to squeeze out as much liquid as possible and mix well.
4. Remove the swab, cap the attached dropper cap tightly, and squeeze two drops of liquid from the test tube onto the test paper (the part with the letter S).
5. Place the test strip on a flat surface and wait 30 minutes for the result to be displayed.
6. If the test result is positive (may be weak), two lines are displayed; if negative, one line is displayed at the top; if the test is invalid, one line is displayed at the bottom.
PS: test results must be reported on gov.uk/report-covid19-result upon request; if the test is positive, self-isolation must be started immediately and an appointment made for nucleic acid testing.
03. How do I obtain a test kit?
1. Order online
people can book test kits online and have them mailed to their homes for self-testing.
2. From the company
Company employees can pick up test kits at their workplace and choose to test on-site or take home for self-testing
3. Community testing
Rapid testing services are also available in small communities, where residents can visit designated sites for testing
4. Nucleic acid testing stations
Regional fixed nucleic acid testing sites equipped with test kits that can be picked up or tested instantly according to the site's schedule.
5. provided by schools
On-site rapid tests are provided by schools for school students, and this service is now common in secondary schools and universities.
6. Pick up at pharmacies
Asymptomatic people over the age of 18 can go to a pharmacy that offers test kits and pick up a box of seven rapid test kits to be used at home twice a week.
04. Is the rapid test accurate
Compared to the testing methods used at the beginning of the epidemic, the rapid cross-flow test clearly has unparalleled advantages. In addition to convenience and efficiency, its accuracy may not show any fear.
Regarding early PCR tests and other methods, the University of Birmingham professor of biostatistics said, "These tests are much better for people who are asymptomatic than for people who are symptomatic."
"The only data we have is from one study (Liverpool and Birmingham). A total of 78 people were infected with COVID-19 and 40 million tests were carried out ...... I was personally shocked. The government believes this is sufficient evidence base. to develop such a large, expensive and quite radical policy."
Clearly, from the professor's perspective, rapid detection of lateral flow is more trustworthy and popular.
For this test, there is also data from precise statistical studies.
Last November, a large-scale rapid test was conducted in Liverpool. The population of Liverpool was tested for horizontal flow and nucleic acids within a specified time frame.
After analyzing the results, the team at the University of Liverpool found that the rapid horizontal flow test was best suited to identify those who were super-transmissible.
For people with high viral loads, and therefore highly infectious, this rapid test was more than 90% accurate.
However, there is still opposition within the UK. For example, Alison Pollock, a professor of public health at Newcastle University, has warned that the application of mass testing "will do more harm than good" and that false alarms will mean thousands of people. Will be forced into unnecessary quarantine.