Swab is the standard method for having a diagnosis of Covid-19. Here are the various types that exist, the costs, the response times.
To find out if you are positive for Covid-19 , the only method currently available is to undergo a molecular swab. It is a diagnostic test recognized and approved by the intentional health organizations, which allows to detect the presence of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. But what are the Coronavirus swabs we have available, the costs and response times? Here’s everything you need to know.
Buffer: when to do it and why
Swabs should be done in cases where you know you have had a chance to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, if any of the symptoms occur, and as a workplace or school screening . It is also provided for subjects belonging to categories at risk of contagion, including doctors and health personnel.
Covid buffer: free or paid?
But how much does the Covid buffer cost? If prescribed by the doctor, ATS is free , in cases where there are symptoms or doubts of a possible contraction of the disease. However, you can decide to do it privately, and in these cases, the cost is between 80 and 150 euros .
Covid buffer: how it works and what types exist
The diagnostic test is performed on a sample of respiratory secretions, usually taken with a nasopharyngeal swab . Specifically, it occurs with sticks stuck in the nostrils and / or pharynx. The test must be processed by specialized personnel in a microbiology laboratory with reagents and specific machinery. This is the reason why the management has been entrusted to public and convention centers.
The salivary swab – Then there is another type of test, which always belongs to the category of classical molecular swabs, but performed in a different way, that is, by taking a reduced amount of saliva. These allow for a response in the laboratory within 5-10 minutes . They are an ideal choice in case you need to do a mass screening . The sensitivity is high, but at the moment they have not yet been validated by the Ministry of Health.
Generally the result is obtained from 24 to 48 hours after collection and from 2-6 hours after it arrives at the laboratory. However, these also vary based on various factors, including the type of machines present in the laboratory, the quantity of swabs to be processed and the availability of personnel.
The rapid swab – Rapid swabs, also called antigen tests or soaps, have been developed, which work differently than traditional swabs and have a lower reliability than the latter. They are based on the detection of viral proteins, antigens in fact, present in respiratory secretions. They take place by inserting a stick into the nostrils and pharynx or by taking saliva.
The result is given on average within 30 minutes and has a sensitivity of 80-85%, ie on average 80-85 out of 100 are detected. As with classic swabs, if performed at the wrong time, they can lead to a false negative.
How reliable is the tampon?
The reliability of the swab is generally quite high: in fact, a 98% reliability is estimated: this means that out of 100 infected, it would be able to identify almost all of them .
If done too early, it can be negative: in these cases we speak of false negatives. To overcome this problem, scientists recommend having the swab undergo 72 hours after the alleged infection, ie three days after the onset of symptoms.
What to do if you are positive for the swab?
If positive, the outcome in Italy must be reported to the competent health authorities, both by the public and by private individuals. After the swab is performed, the subject waits for the outcome in isolation, and, if positive, screening for all close contacts is ordered.
In case of positivity, the procedure is as follows: isolation and quarantine until two subsequent swabs fail. If you have the doubt that you have contracted the disease, but you have not undergone the tampon, the isolation, which remains mandatory for you and close contacts, ends 14 days after the onset of symptoms or the date of a possible infection.
Cover photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/photos/tamponi-cotone-tampone-pulito-166409/