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At-home COVID-19 testing help

The Binax NOW test can be ordered online to help with testing demands here in Maine and across...
The Binax NOW test can be ordered online to help with testing demands here in Maine and across the country.(WABI)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:06 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - At-home COVID-19 testing demand continues to surge. Since the government will eventually ship test kits for free, it’s important to know what to expect.

The at home tests offer rapid results. In addition, it offers convenience and privacy.

Polymerase chain reaction testing has increased, too. However, the delay in results are one to three days. Maybe even longer.

And, you’re typically waiting in line among others to get swabbed.

With the at home tests, one concern we’ve heard at FOX Carolina is the false negatives. So, we went to a doctor to find out more about how you should proceed with the antigen test.

“There are some that may have negative tests because of the viral load,” said Dr. Emmanuel Sarmiento, Allergy and Immunology. It’s how much virus you have been exposed to.”

He says if the viral load is low chances are it won’t register on the rapid test.

If you’re looking for a more accurate option then PCR would be the better option.

“The PCR test is much more sensitive in identifying infections because it amplifies the virus,” he said.

For more accurate results with rapid tests, I asked Dr. Sarmiento when should a person test for the virus if they’ve been exposed.

“You need to have an incubation period of about three to five days before you will have a positive result,” according to Dr. Sarmiento.

One of the requirements for some at home testing options calls for them to be used in a series. Meaning, if you have multiple tests included in the kit then you have to re-test a second time within specified hours.

If rapid antigen is your choice of method, please read the directions to a greater quality.

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