Nowadays, PCR is increasingly used to detect different infective organisms. PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, tests can detect the genetic material of any specific organism. Generally, we use the test to detect viruses. Hence, PCR can detect the presence of a virus at the time of this test or fragments of it even after you recover from the infection.
PCR Covid test Dearborn helps us to diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the causative organism of COVID-19. Let’s have an overview of the role of PCR in diagnosing COVID-19.
How Does COVID-19 PCR Work?
PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a molecular test that analyzes respiratory specimens to look for genetic material, (RNA or ribonucleic acid) of SARS-CoV-2. The PCR Covid test amplifies small amounts of RNA taken from samples by converting it first into DNA using an enzyme( reverse transcriptase or DNA polymerase). If any RNA is present and the enzymes replicate it, the SARS-CoV virus gets detected. Specifically designed probes and primers in the solution detect the genetic code of the virus. Although there are a few more tests used to diagnose COVID-19, PCR Covid test is the gold standard as it’s reliable and accurate.
Who Should Get Their PCR COVID Test, Dearborn?
- Having symptoms: You need to get your PCR Covid test if your healthcare provider advises or you are having any of the following symptoms.
- ○ High-grade fever with chills
- ○ Cough
- ○ Runny nose or nasal congestion
- ○ Difficult breathing or shortness of breath
- ○ Muscular aches
- ○ Headache and fatigue
- ○ Net loss of the sense of smell or taste
- ○ Nausea, vomiting
- ○ Abdominal cramps or diarrhea
These above-mentioned symptoms are typical of COVID-19; however not everyone infected with the SARS-CoV 2 virus develops all of these symptoms. Few individuals remain asymptomatic, while others develop only some of these symptoms despite being infected.
2. Exposure to COVID-19 infected: If you are exposed to a COVID-19 symptomatic person or an asymptomatic person but with a positive PCR test, it’s your turn to get a PCR test. However, wait five days after exposure to get your PCR, as early tests may give inaccurate results.
3. Immuno-compromised: Those with any underlying immunocompromised state may need to get a PCR test as part of a routine screening program.
4. Before contact with a COVID-19-infected community: Consider testing before coming into contact with a community with high-or medium-level COVID-19 infection.
PCR Covid Test, Dearborn, Steps
- Collecting samples: A healthcare provider uses a swab to collect respiratory secretions found in your nose. A swab is a flexible stick with a soft tip. Different types of swabs are used for the PCR Covid test, either a nasal swab that collects samples from your nostrils or a nasopharyngeal swab that goes further down the throat for sample collection. After collection, the swab is sent to the laboratory inside a sealed tube.
- Extraction: A laboratory technician extracts or isolates the genetic material of the virus from the rest of the sample.
- PCR( Polymerase Chain Reaction): This step makes use of different chemicals and enzymes in a PCR machine called a thermal cycler. The genetic material of the virus in the test tube amplifies after each heating and cooling cycle. After many cycles, enzymes replicate SARS-CoV-2 viral genetic material in the test tube and the result is millions of viral copies. If viral genetic material is present in the tube, one of the chemicals produces fluorescent light. The PCR machine detects this signal as a positive PCR test. Several software programs can interpret the signal as a positive result.
How Do You Interpret A PCR Covid Test, Dearborn?
- ○ Positive result: A positive PCR test result means you are likely to have an infection with SARS-CoV-2. Either you could have a symptomatic infection with COVID-19 or be asymptomatic but still transmit infection.
- ○ Negative result: A negative PCR test result means not enough genetic material from the virus has been detected in the nasopharyngeal sample. This could be due to either you are not infected with SARS-CoV-2 or you got your tests done soon after exposure to COVID-19-infected persons.
You can get your PCR test results as early as 24 hours after sample collection.
How Long Do You Get a Positive PCR After COVID-19?
The PCR Covid test is very sensitive, as it can detect very small amounts of viral genetic material. This means that even after getting recovered from the COVID-19 infection, you may get a positive PCR test. In other words, long after recovering from COVID-19, you continue to get a positive test, even though you are not spreading the virus to others.
On the other hand, some immunocompromised individuals can have prolonged COVID-19 infection, and they continue shedding the virus for months. Always discuss your test results with your healthcare provider, who can correlate them with your general health condition, history of infection, and other findings.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or were recently exposed to any person infected with COVID-19 or who tested positive, get your PCR Covid test done. First, discuss it with your healthcare provider, as they can guide you better. We at our Dearborn center provide on-site testing facilities for many tests, including the PCR Covid test. Don’t take the risk; ensure your safety and the community’s safety by getting your PCR test.