Rapid Covid Test

Rapid Covid Test - what is it and how the test is done

With the pandemic caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the spread of tests and swabs to detect infection from the virus has become the new normal. The Rapid Covid Test or Covid Antigen Test is one of these rapid tests that allows to confirm if a person is positive or negative to COVID-19 getting the result in no time.

How does a Rapid Covid Test work?

A Covid antigen test kit resembles a pregnancy test. This test is performed using a sample from the nose or throat using a swab provided in the kit. The swab with the collected sample (fluid) is then deposited into a test tube and poured onto a self-absorbing pad. The fluid is drawn in through the capillary action from this pad until it is placed on a strip coated with Covid antibodies.

If the person's oropharyngeal sample contains the virus, a coloured line appears indicating the patient is positive.

When you should do a Covid Antigen Test

A Covid Lateral Flow Test is widely used to show that you are not infected when travelling or going abroad. The test may, in fact, be required by airlines before departure.

It is usually recommended that a person takes a quick antigenic swab for Covid if they have one or more suspicious symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion, shortness of breath, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting.

Common conditions covered by a Covid Lateral Flow Test

COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 Influenza Sore throat Fever

Where to get a Covid Antigen Test in Italy

Rapid Covid Test at-Home and Self Tests

Rapid Covid Test FAQs

The lateral flow test for Covid-19 is a swab test in which the swab is swept across the back of a person's nose and throat. The swab is then placed into a liquid tube, after which a sample of this liquid is deposited on a small absorbent pad contained within the disposable testing kit.

The PCR test may take too much time for the results to be conclusive. A lateral antibody test is less costly, faster and more sensitive to identifying the covid19 virus. It has been important for hospital workers, frontline workers, and caregivers in times of covid19.

This test is less accurate than the gold standard PCR test; however, the test accuracy has shown to be higher when used by trained laboratory staff.

People in a high-risk environment can have a lateral flow test as it is faster. Now, self-testing kits are also available.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and gradually start. Some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms and do not feel bad. Most people (about 80%) cured of the disease without requiring special care. About 1 in 6 people who contract the COVID-19 became seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. Older people and those with underlying medical problems such as hypertension, heart problems or diabetes are more likely to develop serious diseases. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical advice.

Unlike PCR tests that require sending swabs to a specialised laboratory, the rapid tests (also called antigens) can return results without being sent to a specialised structure. Some tests provide results even while waiting in less than fifteen minutes. These tests are also known as lateral flow method or fluorescence.

Usually antigen tests/lateral flow tests do not require the prescription of a doctor in Italy. However, it is good to inform your doctor about the values ​​of the results in order to enable it to assess whether or not there is the need to prescribe a possible molecular tests.

Recently, the European Union has agreed to mutually recognise rapid antigen test/lateral flow tests.

The rapid antigen tests are designed for quick results and rapid detection of the new coronavirus. Usually, you can get results from an antigen test within 15 minutes. This is because the test does not require any specialized laboratory equipment and can easily be performed in a doctor's office or clinical setting. Keep in mind that increased testing across the nation can mean a more significant burden on laboratories, which may contribute to longer waiting times than usual for a lab result.

If you want to do a private test, you can look for a laboratory or a pharmacy that offers this service. On faiuntestevai.it we have over 6,000 centres throughout Italy offering different types of Covid-19 tests including Antigen tests.