What is a Rapid Antigen Test and Why Does it Matter?
A rapid antigen test also known as a lateral flow test is usually a quick test done in the comfort of your home that gives you results within 15 minutes.
By Dr. JODIE MOSS
A rapid antigen test also known as a lateral flow test is usually a quick test done in the comfort of your home that gives you results within 15 minutes. This test is similar to a pregnancy test device. These tests work by taking a swab sample from inside your nose and/or over your tonsils in your mouth. Within each test kit, you’ll receive a sterile swab that is placed in a plastic sheath, once you remove this from the sheath avoid touching the cotton bid tip. The cotton bud end is what you use to swab the areas mentioned above. After mixing your swab stick with the solution provided, 2-3 drops are placed onto the test device. This test works by detecting the presence of viral proteins called antigens which are expressed by COVID-19.
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For General Use
For general use, you should do a rapid test twice a week every 3 to 4 days to check if you have coronavirus, even if you don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus. If two lines appear one at the control level (c) and one at the test level (t) you will need to self-isolate and get a PCR test. It is important to actively test regularly using the rapid antigen tests as 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms yet can still infect others.
International travel has now both a traffic light system where countries are monitored regularly and placed either on a green, amber, amber plus, or red list. Before you travel or book to travel please check the government website to find out what the restrictions and requirements are for the country that you are travelling to. Some countries require either a PCR test, rapid antigen test, or proof of vaccination status upon arrival. When returning back to the UK you are required to take a rapid antigen test to get a COVID 19 fit to fly certificate within 48 hours before you travel back to the UK. These rapid antigen tests need to meet the sensitivity required to be fit for travel, therefore the NHS test do not meet this sensitivity level. At Klarity you can purchase the correct tests that are CE marked and are fit for travel use. We have three rapid antigen packages you can choose from which have different levels of online healthcare supervision.