If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or you’re about to spend time with loved ones and you don’t want to get them sick, it’s a good idea to consider COVID testing. The most accurate test right now is a PCR test. But what is a PCR test and how does it work? Here’s what you need to know if you want to get tested.
PCR tests are the preferred method of testing for COVID-19 because of their accuracy. During a PCR test, a long cotton swab will be inserted through your nostril to the uppermost part of your nasal passageway near the back of your throat.
This is the area where COVID-19 virus particles populate the most often, so even if there’s just a little bit of virus present in a patient’s sample, the test will reveal that right away.
The test is able to detect very small amounts of virus because it takes genetic material from the virus and uses that as a barometer for determining whether or not the virus is present in a patient who’s being tested.