Rapid Antigen Tests use a sample of your DNA typically collected using a nasal swab. These tests look for the presence of COVID-19 antigens (or antibodies), and can be used to determine whether a patient has been exposed to the virus. While these results come back faster than PCR tests (typically within a few hours), they are known to be less accurate than the standard PCR tests. Still, this is a good option for those who need to know whether they've been infected with COVID-19 quickly.
PCR Tests use a small sample of your DNA taken with a nasal swab, and results are typically available in 3-10 days after a laboratory analysis. The test looks for the presence of viral nucleic acids and tells if a person is currently infected with the virus. This method of testing usually allows for even the smallest amount of COVID-19 material to be detected. This test is highly sensitive and accurate, and is the preferred method for diagnosing COVID-19.
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