PCR Test Vs. Rapid Antigen Test, what are the difference?

Taking a Covid-19 test is the only way to confirm whether an individual is currently infected with COVID-19, making testing a significant role in preventing the virus’s rapid spread. Additionally, when an infectious disease outbreak begins, it is of utmost importance for public health officials to begin testing to identify cases quickly.

Effective testing efforts can lead to quick treatment for those with an active coronavirus infection and immediate isolation to prevent spread. Also, it protects people who need immediate care and those who came into contact with them as they too can be quickly treated.

While there is no exact date when this pandemic will end, various ways can ensure that it will end soon. Aside from adhering to public health protocols, testing is helpful for public health mitigation efforts.

Even airlines have shown how vital testing is as they require travelers to get a fit-to-fly covid test to prevent the virus from spreading via air travel. In addition, many countries require a negative PCR test to show that passengers are not currently infected with the virus.

Moreover, hundreds of test providers offer a wide range of testing options for the fit-to-fly covid test, and it is essential to choose one to avoid stressful situations. Accordingly, there are different types of tests available, and it might confuse others.

The diagnostic tests that can determine whether a person is infected with coronavirus are the PCR test and the Rapid Antigen test. The former is considered the “gold standard” used to detect COVID-19. The latter can provide results in a shorter amount of time. However, their results are less accurate than the PCR test as they can produce false negatives.

Most countries that require pre-travel testing only accept PCR tests. Only a few have an exception that needs to provide proof of a negative Antigen test.

Want to learn more about their differences? Click this infographic made by Haley Medic International.

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