In the post-COVID era, where convenience and safety are paramount, the demand for efficient diagnostic tools has never been more critical. It has become vital to have antigen rapid tests available for personal use from home.
Antigen rapid testing has empowered individuals to monitor their health from the comfort of their homes. Today, you can order Covid Tests online lateral flow tests without using time and resources to access the health care facility.
In this comprehensive guide, we take you step-by-step through how to do an at-home antigen rapid test to avoid errors and inaccurate results. Dive in for a fun guide to monitoring your health.
What Is An At-Home Antigen Rapid Test?
It is a diagnostic test designed for use in the comfort of your bathroom or any area of your home. An at-home antigen rapid test can detect antigens related to viruses or viruses. In this context, an at-home quick antigen test can detect antigens associated with COVID-19.
With the continued COVID-19 infections and over 28,000 viral tests in England in September 2023, Antigen rapid tests are popular to monitor health. They can deliver results within minutes.
How To Take An At-Home Antigen Rapid Test
For an at-home antigen rapid test to be accurate and practical, the user must take the antigen rapid test effectively. When you buy different test kits, you will notice they may have slightly varying instructions. Hence, reading the manual and following the guidelines is essential. Below are simple steps on how to effectively take an at-home antigen rapid test:
What To Do Before Testing
Before taking the test, there are a few things you should do to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the test kit. First, store the test kit properly at room temperature. Avoid placing the kit in the freezer or where there is direct sunlight. Follow the instructions about the kit’s storage.
Also, before performing the test, avoid activities that might interfere with the sample. For instance, avoid brushing your teeth, eating, or smoking, which might affect the sample’s viability.
Before the antigen rapid test, ensure your hands and surfaces are sanitary. Exercise thorough washing of hands and ensure that the areas interacting with the kit are clean.
Remember to verify the rapid antigen test. Verification before testing involves checking the test’s expiry date and ensuring all the test components are present as stated in the manual.
Once you are ready to do the test, ensure that you do it within 30 minutes of opening the test kit to avoid contaminating the rapid antigen test components and facilitate acquiring accurate results.
Set Up the Test Place
Find adequate space to set up the rapid antigen test. Get rid of any obstacles or anything that can bring contamination during testing. Sanitize and disinfect the area and your hands. After setting up, open the components of the kit carefully. Use the instructions in the manual during the process of opening the kit.
Collect the Sample
The sample to be collected depends on the rapid antigen test kit. You may be required to take throat, mouth, or nose swabs when collecting the sample. When collecting the sample, use the swab gently. Also, remain still to avoid hurting yourself or injury during the sample collection.
For example, if you must collect a sample from the throat, open your mouth wide and gently insert the swab. Rotate the swab gently at the back of your throat and around the tonsils for 15 seconds or the time indicated in the manual.
Place the Sample On the Test Device
Place the swab into the extraction tube. Press the swab against the inner walls of the extraction tube to squeeze out the sample. After squeezing out the sample, remove its cap tip and place it on the test strip. Squeeze three drops of the sample on the test strip.
Set the Timer
After setting up the sample on the test strip, you can set the time for the waiting period. The results should be displayed within 30 minutes and not more than that. Setting the timer will remind you to check the results on time. While waiting, avoid touching or moving the test.
Check the Results
Once the timer is up, you can read the results. The test manual has a guide to interpreting the results. Typically, seeing both the control and test lines, even if they fade, indicates a positive. If you see the control line alone, it indicates a negative. If you notice the absence of the control line, the results are invalid.
Exercise caution when disposing of the test components. Use the wraps and the boxes provided by the manufacturer, then put the waste into a tight bag before disposing of it. Ensure that you leave out none of the components lying around. After disposing, clean out and sanitize all surfaces and your hands.
Reporting the Results
If you find a positive result, you should report to a health facility for further guidance. Reporting can help with isolation to avoid spreading the infection to others. Reporting can also ensure the conducting of further tests to confirm the infection.