Coronavirus at home testing kit
The novel coronavirus at-home testing kit can detect whether or not the virus is present in mucous cells that are collected on a swab from your mouth and nose.
When you’re infected with any kind of virus, it survives in your body until you can create the antibodies to fight it off. Until then, the virus can be present in some of your bodily fluids, and can be detected by their RNA sequence.
The new coronavirus at-home testing kit looks for the RNA sequence that is specific to COVID-19, telling you whether you’re currently infected with the virus. These tests for coronavirus can’t detect antibodies, so they won’t be able to tell you whether or not you’ve been infected in the past.. Unfortunately, these novel coronavirus tests may not be able to detect the presence of the virus if you’re infected but have a low viral load, so you should still practice social distancing and good hygiene if your result comes back as negative.
A positive result means that the test has detected COVID-19 specific antigens in your sample, and that you are currently infected, whilst a negative result shows that you haven’t got COVID-19 at the moment, or that your viral load is too low to detect.
How long does a coronavirus test kit take?
The current turnaround time for results is 2 days from when you post your sample to the laboratory, so it’s currently one of the fastest ways to find out whether you’re suffering with COVID-19. Until you get your result, you should follow government advice and adhere to social distancing, or even isolation if you’re experiencing any respiratory symptoms, a high temperature, or a loss or taste and smell.
The home test itself takes just minutes to complete, but it’s important to thoroughly read the instructions before you open the swab, as completing the test correctly is one of the best ways to ensure that your results are accurate. You should post the test on the day that you take the sample, if possible, but if you can’t make it to a post box in time, you should be able to keep the sample for a maximum of 3 days before the cells may not be viable anymore.
How is coronavirus tested
In these novel coronavirus tests, a sample of cells from your mouth and nose are analysed at a specialist laboratory in London. Here, the cells are tested for the RNA sequence that is specific to the COVID-19 virus cells. If no COVID-19 specific antigens are detected, the result will show as negative. However, if the virus is detected, the result will be positive, indicating a current COVID-19 infection.
Whilst the test may be a little uncomfortable, doing it at home means that you can go at your own pace and make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible whilst collecting the sample. The instructions included in the kit show you exactly where the swab needs to have collected cells from, making it easy to complete by yourself without the need to be in contact with another person.
Many people suspect that they may have had coronavirus due to their symptoms, but with many of the signs mimicking seasonal flu or other less serious illnesses, it can be difficult to tell from symptoms alone.
The coronavirus symptoms to look out for include:
- A high temperature, usually classed as over 37.5 degrees celsius
- A new, continuous cough. If you already have a cough, this may have worsened.
- A loss of smell or taste
The cough observed with COVID-19 is usually dry and unproductive, and may cause breathing difficulties, especially in those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, COPD, or other similar medical problems.
For many people, these symptoms may only be mild, and feel a little like the common cold. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should self-isolate for at least 7 days, or until your symptoms stop. This is to ensure that other people around you are safe from the virus, as it’s known to have more serious complications in vulnerable people, such as the elderly or immunocompromised.
If you have received a coronavirus diagnosis from a hospital, you do not need to take the at-home coronavirus test. However, if you haven’t had a coronavirus diagnosis and suspect that you may have been infected with it, you should take the at-home test to confirm whether or not your suspicions are right.
Those that have previously been infected may take comfort in knowing that they are immune to the virus, but you should bear in mind that if you come into contact with someone that is contagious, you could pass the virus on to others that haven’t been infected.
For many people, a coronavirus diagnosis can help in notifying others that you may have been in contact with so that they can take the necessary precautions. This may help to slow the spread of the virus quicker. If you’ve received a positive result, you’ll also know that once you’ve recovered, you’re no longer at risk of contracting the same strain. However, it’s worth knowing that viruses such as COVID-19 can mutate, so you should always practice social distancing wherever possible until the threat of transmission from one person to another is low enough for normal activity to resume.
During the pandemic, we should all be taking precautions to protect ourselves and others from the novel coronavirus. This includes practising social distancing measures such as keeping at least 2 metres apart from anybody that lives outside of your household, only leaving your home for essential items or to go to work if you’re in a job where you cannot work from home.
In addition to these coronavirus precautions, it’s extremely important to keep up with good hand washing, or using alcohol gel where running water and soap isn’t available.
Making sure that we’re being as sensible and hygienic as possible ensures us the best protection against the novel coronavirus, and any other contagious illnesses that might be going around.
Buy coronavirus testing kit
You can now buy coronavirus testing kits from Doctor4U. With next-day delivery as an option when you order before 2pm Monday-Friday, your order can be with you as soon as possible.
When you buy a coronavirus testing kit from Doctor4U, you’re guaranteed a safe, fast, and confidential service, just as you’d expect from your own GP surgery.