PCR Test VS. Rapid Antigen Test

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals could create testing to help identify patients who might be positive in contracting the virus. Countries worldwide heavily rely on COVID-19 testing to usher them safely in working, travels, and everyday routines., the reason why people are encouraged to undergo testing whether or not symptoms are present.


People can choose between going to the nearest health facility that conducts the testing or can order a home test kit from accredited testing partners to avoid the risk of contracting the virus. However, people often ask which coronavirus test is right for them as there are many COVID-19 tests present in the market.


PCR Test

Medical practitioners commonly know the PCR-test as a polymerase chain reaction test or RT-PCR test—RT as reverse transcription­­—can detect the virus’s genetic material. The test is considered the most reliable test in delivering accurate results, and repetition is unlikely to happen because of its high accuracy. When individuals feel like contracting the virus and showing symptoms, doctors advise patients to undergo the said test.


This is the same test that companies require their workforce to undergo before reporting back to work. Its result serves as proof that one is entirely safe from viral infection. Aside from health facilities, the airline industry also uses the RT-PCR assessment for their fit to fly COVID test required for travelers to get a fit to fit certificate before the scheduled flight.


Antigen Test or Rapid Antigen Test


The “rapid test,” primarily known as the “rapid test,” got its name due to the quick turnaround time compared to the PCR Test. Also, it is less expensive, and results are ready within 20-30 minutes. This test used when there is a large number of people that need to be tested. However, results are not highly accurate, and false positives can occur—making a person undergo the PCR test for confirmatory results.


Learn more about the differences between these PCR tests & the Rapid Antigen Test through this infographic.


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