Take-Home antigen test kits have become more accessible these days, which is great because it helps people stay proactive in what to do if they feel they need to get tested.
If you’re planning on taking one for yourself any time soon and want help on how to interpret your take-home antigen test kit results, read on to find out more details.
What is an Antigen Take-Home Test Kit?
An antigen take-home test kit is a viral test that you can do anywhere you want. This portable test kit tests for the presence of the virus in the body. This is why it’s useful for those who need to get a diagnosis for the virus.
An example of an antigen take-home test kit would be the FlowFlex COVID test NHS sends for its Test and Trace program.
An antigen take-home test kit is not one you should mistake for the RT-PCR test. Even when you can take it home, the RT-PCR test will likely require lab testing first. So even if you do a self-sampling, you will eventually have to send the sample back to the lab for testing, and it will take you a few days before you can get your results.
Who Should Be Taking a COVID-19 Test?
If you think you should be taking a COVID-19 test, you probably should get tested. However, a few people might benefit the most and should seriously consider taking a COVID-19 test.
For example, if you’re showing symptoms of the virus, or you’ve interacted recently with someone who has tested positive for the virus, then it’s a safe bet that you should be taking the COVID-19 test.
Another reason why you should be taking the COVID-19 test is if you’re headed somewhere that requires it. For example, you might be going to a mass gathering, going back to school or in the office, or traveling abroad.
Another good reason to get yourself tested is if you’re going to see someone immuno-compromised. That way, you can keep them safe if you do meet them.
How to Take the At-Home Test Kit?
If you’re now planning to take an at-home test kit and want to know how to use it, you should simply follow the instructions of the test kit that you’re using. You want to make sure that you follow the instructions closely because if you take the sample incorrectly, it can affect the legitimacy of the results.
Aside from following the manufacturers’ instructions, you should also make sure to wash your hands before and after doing the test.
Once you follow the instructions, you should be able to find out the results a few minutes after taking the test.
The test kit should always have a colored line on the C or Control regions. If it doesn’t, then the test kit is faulty.
There should be a colored line on the T or the Test region if you test positive. If there is no colored line on the T region, it should be negative.
What Do You Do After Finding Out the Result?
After you finish taking the test, you need to find out what to do after finding out your result. Here are tips on what you should do:
After a Positive Test Result
If you tested positive, then you should start by contacting the people close to you or with whom you have interacted most recently to let them know. Then, you should consider self-isolating for seven days. If you are showing symptoms and they begin to worsen, you should get in touch with your primary healthcare provider or go to emergency services if it’s really bad.
If you’re not showing symptoms, you should still quarantine and take another test after seven days. After a few days of testing negative with a take-home antigen test kit, you should be safe to go.
After a Negative Test Result
Even if you test negative, it’s a good idea to still wait for a couple of days and get tested again, especially if you’re showing symptoms. Antigen tests often turn out false negatives, so do a series of testing for them to be extra safe.
If you really want to be sure, get an RT-PCR test because they are more sensitive and can provide a more accurate result.
Now that you know how to interpret your take-home antigen test kit, you should feel more confident when taking one. If you feel like you need to take an antigen test, don’t hesitate. Follow the instructions and also the next steps after you find out your result, and you should be good to go.
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