Are results of Antigen Tests reliable?

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Those with corona symptoms and who want to prevent infecting others with the virus usually resort to an antigen test. But how reliable are the results still due to immunity and different variants?

With the arrival of autumn, the cold season is upon us again in Austria. However, symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, etc., can also be an infection with the coronavirus.

To get clarity, many people usually resort to the antigen test, which can be carried out conveniently at home. In the meantime, however, there are already some things to consider.

Immunity and corona variants can influence antigen tests
The immune system is already prepared for a Corona disease thanks to vaccinations and possible previous infections. The virus is fought more quickly, and symptoms already appear before the viral load can be detected with a rapid test.

As a result, if testing is done too early, the antigen test will show a negative result even though a corona infection is present. In addition, the omicron variant multiplies faster in the throat than in the nose—swabs taken in the nose also only become positive later.

Anyone with symptoms should not blindly trust a negative test result and continue testing the following days. In the best case, a PCR test should also be performed.

  • source: vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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