Risk of Independent Antigen Swab at Home

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Risk of Independent Antigen Swab at Home
Risk of Independent Antigen Swab at Home

The surge in positive cases of COVID-19 has made many people more worried about the transmission of this virus. As a result, not a few people do self-antigen swabs at home to ensure their he alth conditions. In fact, self-antigen swab examination has risks and is not always accurate, you know

The COVID-19 antigen swab is a quick test to detect the presence of antigens or parts of the Corona virus in the body. The procedure in this test is to take a sample of mucus from the throat and the inside of the nose (nasopharynx).

Risk of Self Antigen Swab at Home - Alodokter

An antigen swab test can be done as an early detection or screening for COVID-19. This test can also be done as a requirement for traveling to certain regions.

Antigen swab can be done at the Puskesmas, clinic, or hospital. However, for reasons that are more practical and they don't want to queue for long, not a few people buy their own antigen swab equipment and then do an independent antigen swab at home to detect the presence or absence of the Corona virus in their body. In fact, this is not recommended to do.

A re-antigen swab examination also does not need to be carried out on people who have finished undergoing self-isolation.

Know the Risks of Self Antigen Swab at Home

Self-antigen swabs do not need to leave the house and the results are faster because there is no need to queue.Antigen swab kits have also been sold freely in online stores and the price is relatively cheap compared to doing antigen swabs in he alth facilities.

Even so, it is not recommended that antigen swabs be done independently at home. Antigen swab and other examination procedures to detect the Corona virus and diagnose COVID-19 disease may only be carried out by he alth workers.

There are several reasons why self-antigen swab examination is not recommended, namely:

Inaccurate test result

Research shows that self-administered antigen swab tests have a lower accuracy than antigen swab tests performed by medical personnel.

Because the results of the antigen swab are greatly influenced by the way the sample is collected and handled when the rapid antigen test for COVID-19 is carried out. This is the reason that incorrect sample collection and reading can make the results of an antigen swab test invalid.

Incorrect sampling method

The correct antigen swab is done by inserting a device that resembles a long cotton bud into the nose and pushing it up to the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the throat located behind the nose and behind the roof of the mouth. Then, the swab is rotated for about 15 seconds so that the mucus sample can be taken properly.

When doing this test independently, you may not use the swab properly and correctly. For example, a swab that is inserted into the nose may not reach the nasopharynx, but only into the nasal cavity.

In addition, the discomfort caused by the test kit being inserted into the nose may make you pull it out too fast and don't have time to rotate it. The mucus in the nasopharynx may not stick to the probe, if done this way.

As a result, the sample taken was incorrect, thus showing a negative antigen swab test result. In fact, the negative result is not necessarily due to the absence of the Corona virus, but because the sample taken is not correct.

Sample detected is saliva

In addition to mucus from the nasopharynx, antigen swab examination can also be performed with a sample of mucus from the back of the throat or oropharynx. This sample can be taken more easily by mouth.

However, when performing a self-antigen swab at home using this method, one of the mistakes that quite often occurs is that the sample taken is saliva instead of mucus from the throat.

Research shows that examining saliva samples tends to be more difficult to detect the Corona virus and has a higher risk of showing false negative results.

Mistakes made when self-antigen swabs at home can result in inaccurate test results, such as false negatives. False negative means that the test shows a negative result, even though it is not necessarily true that there is no Corona virus in the sample being tested.

On this basis, you should not do self-antigen swabs at home, okay?If you want to do an antigen swab, you should come to the puskesmas, clinic, or hospital. If possible, you can also contact the home antigen examination service or home service.

Required Conditions for Antigen Swab

An antigen swab needs to be done when you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or are at high risk of getting the disease. In addition, an antigen swab is also performed if you do not experience any symptoms but have the following factors:

  • There is a history of contact with people who are positive for COVID-19
  • Working in areas where physical distancing is not possible
  • Planning to undergo treatment or treatment in a hospital, for example being hospitalized
  • Want to travel to certain areas provided that they must attach a negative antigen swab or PCR test result

However, it is important to remember that an antigen swab is not a test used to diagnose COVID-19.

The antigen swab does have a better accuracy rate than the rapid antibody test and both can give results in a fast time, but the accuracy of the antigen swab is not as good as the PCR test in diagnosing COVID-19.

So, when you get a positive antigen swab result, do a PCR test at the puskesmas or hospital and self-isolate. If the PCR result is negative, make sure you continue to apply the applicable he alth protocols to prevent exposure to the virus.

To be safer, you still need to do a PCR test to confirm the presence of the Corona virus in your body, regardless of the results of the rapid antigen examination.

Considering that the use of an antigen swab is not as simple as it looks, it is not recommended that you do a self-antigen swab at home, right? If you feel the need to undergo the examination, visit the nearest he alth facility to undergo a proper antigen swab test.

To avoid queues, you can book an antigen swab at a clinic or hospital on the ALODOKTER application. In this application, you can also chat directly with doctors to ask about antigen swabs, COVID-19, other he alth problems.

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