The saliva rapid antigen test is a convenient option for detecting the COVID-19 virus in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. It is able to do so by identifying the presence of the virus’ protein material or envelope in the patient’s saliva, which is the specimen for this type of test. The process of obtaining the saliva specimen for rapid antigen test is hands-down more comfortable than the throat and/or nasopharyngeal swab is done for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which is the gold standard for confirming a COVID-19 infection because of its high, almost 100% accuracy.
For those who want to get tested for COVID-19 but hate to undergo the swabbing required in RT-PCR specimen collection, the saliva rapid antigen test is the way to do it. This type of test’s accuracy is slightly lower than the RT-PCR but there are things one can do to ensure that the result of the antigen test is truthful and accurate. It is all about the timing of specimen collection, doing the steps properly or being guided by trained personnel, and staying away from prohibited substances.
The rapid antigen test is useful for both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID suspects. The important factor to consider is the last day of exposure to a positive patient, and the test should be done 5 to 7 days after this day in order to ensure adequate viral load which the test can accurately detect. The second important factor is the avoidance of alcoholic substances including alcoholic drinks and alcohol-containing gargles. These things should not be taken by mouth at least the night before the test because any residual alcohol in the mouth can denature the virus in the saliva and create a false-positive result.
Lastly, a vital factor that affects the accuracy of results is the method of doing the test. It is important to be guided by trained personnel to ensure that it has been carried out without error. The stick that will collect the saliva antigen must be placed in the mouth and moved back and forth in the surfaces in order to gather enough amount of specimens. There is a dot that will appear on one side of the stick’s round tip if adequate saliva has been collected. The result can be seen exactly 10 minutes after the specimen collection and the display resembles that of a pregnancy test kit. A company in Sydney, Vaccin8 Plus, is one of the pioneers in conducting rapid antigen tests through their mobile medical providers. They render services to both small and large companies and schools that require group testing before going back to normal operations. Interested parties can contact the company through their website Vaccin8plus.com.au.
Rapid antigen testing provides an effective, time-saving, and convenient method of detecting the COVID 19 virus. It will be useful in the massive testing of people who are going back to their work and schools once the economy opens up and returns to the pre-pandemic state. With this type of accurate and convenient testing plus the strict compliance to safety protocols, maybe it will not be that difficult to adapt to the new normal.