The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a paradigm shift in how we carry out our everyday routine. Till now, the world is facing different variants of the COVID-19 family, like the latest Omicron virus. Whether you are traveling, want to visit your loved ones, or just need to be sure about your safety, opting for COVID-19 tests is the first step. In this article, we will be discussing the lateral flow COVID-19 test, the benefits of getting screened early on, and the best practices to keep your family safe and sound. Without further ado, let’s begin.
The lateral flow COVID019 test is composed of a rapid testing kit to check whether an individual is infected with COVID-19 or not. The technology used to make these rapid testing kits were first used during the SARS and MERS outbreak. Amid the COVID pandemic, these kits are proving to be a great screening tool that is helping keep the spread of the virus at bay. These kits are marketed under several names, but each one performs the same function of identifying the presence of an infection.
The kit is simply a small, disposable device capable of identifying pathogens related to the COVID family or picking up certain biochemical markers which are produced by the body in response to the viral infection. The same technology can be used to even identify water contamination, and any harmful chemicals present in human and animal-based foods.
To ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the test, the kit contains a control line and a target line to make sure the test is conducted and can give reliable results.
Whether you are familiar with testing kits or not, the lateral flow test kits are simply designed and don’t require any additional training or expertise to perform or interpret the results. These tests can either be interpreted visually or introduced into a reading machine that interprets the results in a detailed manner. Even families can order multipacks of lateral flow test kits and perform the test from the comfort of their homes. Due to this easy and reliable testing method, the lateral flow test is being used almost everywhere for effective screening purposes. The instructions are also very simple to follow, which has made these kits a popular choice among people.
The kits use a nitrocellulose membrane, specialized nanoparticles for labeling, and antibodies to create a response if pathogens are present in the sample. After you have obtained the sample, add it to the kit to start testing. The sample will first pass through the nitrocellulose membrane and then get absorbed by the pad beneath.
The placed pad ensures the sample is absorbed to the max and flows in a streamlined manner for further testing. In the middle, a conjugate pad is present that contains antibodies and colored nanoparticles. If there is a pathogen present in the sample, the antibodies and labels will cling to the pathogen. As the sample moves along, colored reagents present in the cellulose-based membrane will also bind to the pathogen and appear as a colored line to show the test results. If the sample contains many pathogens, the colored line will be brighter and vice versa.
It’s simple to perform the lateral flow rapid test. After you have opened the kit, take the nasal swab present in the box and open it. Gently push the soft tip of the swab into one of your nostrils and put the collected sample in the collection tube. Next, use the tools provided to obtain the sample and add it to the testing kit. It takes around 15 minutes to show the results. If you feel confused in performing the test, review the instructions on the box each time you perform the test.
As mentioned earlier, these tests can be performed easily by anyone, so it doesn’t matter who is performing the test until they can properly follow the instructions. As far as their reliability is concerned, rapid test kits were adopted by many countries to screen their citizens and achieve control over the outbreak, as they give 98.8% accurate results.
Recently, we have seen a decline in the COVID-19 pandemic but still, there are places around the globe that are still having a hard time controlling the newer variants. We hope you find the information on lateral flow test kits useful and help you in making a choice that has better health for you and your loved ones.