A lot of diagnostic test manufacturers have responded to the increasing cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. They began to sell rapid and easy-to-use devices to facilitate testing outside of laboratory or hospital settings.
Like our antigen test kits in New Jersey, point-of-care diagnostic tests for COVID-19 detect proteins from the COVID-19 virus in respiratory samples such as sputum and throat swabs. Some test kits may also detect viral proteins from blood or serum or detect human antibodies that were generated in response to infection.
Before these tests can be recommended, they were first validated in the appropriate populations and settings. For those that have not been validated, they are mainly used in research settings only. Despite the lapse of time and new scientific advances regarding COVID-19, WHO continues to evaluate available immunodiagnostic tests and will release important updates when necessary.
To date, rapid antigen tests have been very useful for a lot of people. Our COVID-19 antigen rapid point test is one of the tests that have been shown to be convenient. In people with confirmed COVID-19, antigen tests correctly identified COVID-19 infection in an average of 72% of people with symptoms, compared to 58% of people without symptoms. This type of testing was found to be most accurate when used in the first week after symptoms first developed.
In people who did not have COVID-19, antigen tests correctly ruled out infection in 99.5% of those with symptoms and 98.9% of those without symptoms. Of course, different brands of test kits vary in accuracy. Usually, a consequent PCR test must be conducted after having a positive rapid antigen test.