It can be a tricky decision to make when selecting the right COVID test for one's own situation. This could especially be the case if there is the need to have a test done to ensure a child who is symptom-free can safely participate in sports practice after having been around teammates who have tested positive.
Although new variants of COVID-19 are arising, they do not necessarily become less dangerous. This is because more people have immunity to the virus, either due to vaccines, natural infections, or a combination of both. COVID-19 is not like other viruses, which tend to become less dangerous over time.
Rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 that can be done from the comfort of your own home make it easy to find out your results in a timely manner.
It is possible to eliminate any uncertainty by having a healthcare practitioner carry out your rapid tests. Alternatively, the situation could dictate that you request a PCR test instead of the rapid antigen test.
In the event that someone exhibits signs of a cold, flu or COVID-19, they may need to begin taking antiviral medications quickly to combat the virus. A PCR test can be especially useful in the early stages of an infection.
PCR tests can detect the presence of a virus in the early stages of infection when the amount of the virus is at a low level. This makes it more likely to find signs of disease than other tests. The same goes for the flu and other viruses that are tested using PCR.
If you think it is possible that you have either the flu or the novel coronavirus, getting tested early on can be advantageous in terms of figuring out and being able to obtain the best treatment plan including taking antiviral medications when they are still able to be most effective.
The timing of antiviral medications is important, It has been observed that these drugs are most effective when taken within a few days of the start of symptoms for COVID-19, typically three days, and within 48 hours for the flu.
When it comes to testing, the timeline is important if you intend to use antivirals. For either COVID or Flu treatment, you must obtain a prescription from a doctor. Therefore, in order to be eligible for a prescription, you need to have test results.
Given the importance of time, if one has been exposed to an identified positive case, the most reasonable action to take is a PCR test. This would yield more accurate results faster than waiting for the symptoms to appear and then using an at-home test.