COVID PCR testing is considered the most accurate testing that exists for the coronavirus. Compared to antigen tests that make results available in as little as 15 minutes, PCR testing involves processing in a laboratory. The test is very sensitive to detecting the virus and is the most widely used by medical professionals. A PCR test can be used on a symptomatic or asymptomatic patient.
If you want to know more about the COVID PCR test, continue reading. You may not want to get tested another way again!
The COVID PCR Test: How Does It Work?
COVID PCR testing, also referred to as the polymerase chain reaction test, is used to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus in an individual. The test is performed by taking a sample of saliva or mucus from the individual and then amplifying any viral RNA present in the sample. Amplifying means creating many copies of genetic material. The purpose of this method is to make it easier to detect any virus in the sample.
- The first step in the COVID PCR testing process is to take a swab from inside the person’s nose or in the back of their throat. In some cases, the individual may be asked to spit saliva into a tube. The swab is then inserted into a tube containing what’s known as viral transport media, which keeps the virus alive during transport. The testing takes place in a laboratory, and for this reason, the results will take some time to become available. Some places make the results available within 24 hours, while others may take a few days.
- Once the sample arrives at the lab, it undergoes two main processes: nucleic acid extraction and amplification. In nucleic acid extraction, enzymes are used to break down all other cellular material in the sample until only viral RNA remains. This RNA is then copied many times over through amplification (a technique called a polymerase chain reaction or PCR), yielding enough material for detection by specialized equipment.
A positive result indicates that COVID-19 RNA was present in the original specimen. Since the test is so sensitive, it can be performed on people who are symptomatic or asymptomatic, which includes those who have come in contact with anyone who has tested positive for the virus. It can also detect the presence of the virus even if you are no longer infected.
If you have a positive result, it’s important that you discuss your symptoms and quarantining with your healthcare provider.
Drive-Up COVID-19 PCR Testing in Fort Worth, TX
Even as COVID-19 restrictions are easing, Americans are still getting sick and dying from the virus. Therefore, you should still exercise caution.
To make COVID PCR testing more convenient for you, Texas Medical Institute now offers drive-up testing with a virtual visit. With drive-up COVID-19 testing, you stay in your vehicle for the duration of the test. We value your time and want to make this very easy for you. To find out more about our COVID-19 testing service or to schedule your test, call (817) 615-8633. Our friendly staff looks forward to assisting you.