Frequently Asked Questions on Covid-19 testing

Covid-19 testing comparison

Where can I get a Coronavirus test in Italy?

Access to tests that detect infection from Covid-19 in Italy vary from region to region. On faintestevai.it you can find laboratories and pharmacies throughout Italy which carried out the tests and you can filter by requirements, test types and results languages.

Can a person who had a negative Covid-19 test result be later found positive?

A negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible that the virus may not be detected. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person shows symptoms probably means that the COVID-19 virus is causing his current illness.

How do I request a swab from my doctor or a hospital in Italy?

When symptoms appear due to COVID-19, your primary care physician will evaluate whether to prescribe the swab. This depends on a few factors such as:

asymptomatic close contacts identified by the general practitioner or reported by the Department of Prevention waiting for rapid swab;
After contact suspicion that the doctor has to visit and who decides to undergo rapid testing;
asymptomatic close contacts at the end of the 10-day isolation identified on a list submitted by the Department of Public Health and Prevention identified the doctor.

Are Coronavirus tests prescribed by doctors always free in Italy?

In the case of Covid-19 test prescribed by a doctor, the cost is borne by the Italian national health system.

Do Covid-19 tests carried out by a private laboratory require a doctor's prescription?

A prescription from a physician for a Covid-19 test in a private laboratory may still be required depending on which region in Italy you are in. Some regions allow laboratories to perform a molecular test without a doctor's prescription.

What is the difference between PCR, Antigen and Antibody tests?

The Molecular buffer (PCR) detects the presence of viral RNA. It is very accurate and efficient. This test can detect infection COVID-19 even before the person becomes infectious and allow premature insulation. Therefore, this method can prevent the transmission of the virus to other hosts. The rapid test (antigen) detects viral proteins. This test reveals patients at the height of infection when the body has the highest concentration of these proteins. Initially, these tests were not as accurate as the molecular, but recently, the difference between the two was reduced by much. The main advantage is the reduced cost and the possibility of having the results up to 15 minutes of collection. Serological tests measure antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the bodies of people who have already had COVID-19 or are recovering successfully from the disease. The antibodies are not present at the beginning of the disease.

What is LAMP tests for Coronavirus?

The LAMP test to detect Coronavirus infection using a process similar to the PCR test. It's a very accurate test but with the advantage of offering a much quicker result within a few hours or less. The LAMP test was conducted as the molecular but with the benefit that the buffer should not be carried out vigorously at the molecular level.

Stay home and call your doctor: if you think you have been exposed to coronavirus and develop a fever & any symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.