The COVID-19 Rt-PCR test

What is real time RT-PCR?

  • Real time RT-PCR is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material in any pathogen, including a virus.
  • Real time RT-PCR is one of the most widely used laboratory methods for detecting the COVID-19 virus. While many countries have used real time RT-PCR for diagnosing other diseases, such as Ebola virus and Zika virus, many need support in adapting this method for the COVID-19 virus, as well as increasing their national testing capacities.
    • PCR Test is run at a lab and can detect the virus BEFORE you have symptoms and during the entire virus.
    • Results usually take 24- 48 hours from when the lab receives the swab.
    • Same day results are available at some locations.

Testing and Air Travel- What test?

Here's what to know:
  • Get tested with a RT-PCR Test 1-3 days before your flight.
  • Get tested with a RT-PCR Test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
  • Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
  • Delay your travel if you are waiting for test results.

Countries and states that require testing prior to entry are mostly using the RT-PCR molecular test (for travel purposes, this isn't covered under insurance).

COVID-19 Antigen Test is a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay for the detection of extracted nucleocapsid protein antigens specific to SARS-CoV-2 in swab specimens directly collected from symptomatic individuals who are suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare providers

  • Nasal Swab
  • FDA Approved under EUA
  • 10 Minute Turn Around Time
  • If Negative, PCR Test is recommended
  • With acute infections in symptomatic patients 88.4% Sensitivity = 12% False Negative Results
  • With acute infections in symptomatic patients 100% Specificity = 0% False Positive Results
  • Antigen Fact Sheet For Patient
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