The current Covid-19 pandemic has familiarized us with new things. Previously most of us had no inkling about a Rapid Antigen Test acronymed as RAT, but we can hear it almost everywhere. It is a test used in detecting proteins from the Coronavirus and hence shows whether you are Covid-19 Positive. RAT is usually used to test people in large gatherings, like schools, malls, offices, etc. But their results are not highly reliable. They are prone to give both false positives and false negatives. But you can improve its accuracy by following a number of measures.
So here are some points one should keep in mind heading for Rapid Antigen Test.
● The first step should be to check the expiry date of the RAT kit. If the kit is outdated then the result will be least accurate.
● The temperature suitable for the storage of RAT kits lies between 2 to 29 degrees. If the temperature exceeds 29 degrees Celcius,the protein in RAT kit will get damaged and hence will give wrong results.
● If you intend to test your nasal swab, then blow your nose first before collecting a sample. A blocky nose can lead to inaccurate results.
● Contamination of samples is the last thing you should do. Before using the RAT kit wash your hands and do not touch the part of the kit which goes in your nose or mouth to collect a sample.
● If you are planning to test your saliva for Covid-19, then refrain from eating or drinking 10 minutes before collecting the sample.
● Always follow the instructions mentioned in the kit.
● Waiting for results may be frustrating, but wait for the exact timing recommended to check the results. The ideal timing to read the results is between 15 to 20 minutes.
● If you are prone to nose bleeding go for saliva swabbing. Because blood will disturb the accuracy of the kit.
● Well, RAT is known for its nonreliability. So to get accurate results, undergo multiple RATs. Collect and test your swabs continuously for three days. It will increase the probability of accuracy.
● The most important point one should keep in mind is to get rid of the kit correctly. Seal all the components of the kit that have come in contact with the person tested in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the garbage.
The best way to deal with the Covid pandemic is to adopt Covid Appropriate Behaviour, but if there is a need to undergo testing, follow the aforementioned points to get accurate results.
Always consider these points before using or undergoing the Rapid Antigen Test( RAT) to get relatively accurate results. but the better option is to adopt Covid Appropriate Behaviour to stay safe and healthy
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