Even though it is controversial, anyone can be infected with COVID-19; no matter the age. So, children are also candidates and should get tested. However, for the most part, adults are the ones who receive testing. There are multiple tests that can show negative or positive results of COVID-19. Below is a synopsis of the tests available.
Authorized Emergency Use Tests: This is the test that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prefers to use to determine if a person is infected with the virus. The test uses a long, thin toothpick with a swab at the end to collect substances from the bottom of the nostrils (the part where the nose meets the throat). If you did the test, they would analyze the sample and look for genetic material that matches that of the virus. Currently, there are different resources available through which SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can be detected.
Home Mail-In Tests: These tests are not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A swab is used to obtain a sample from the inside of the mouth (on the cheek part). Families who pay for these services may not get helpful information about their health. “There is no data to indicate that these mail-in tests are accurate. If you are testing a healthy child or adult, the test may not be conclusive on the first try, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it done again. However, it is more prudent to be tested only if there are symptoms. In this case, a person with symptoms should be given the test authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Rapid antigen tests: This test works like rapid flu tests. With the swab, a sample is taken from the front of the nostrils or throat and analyzed for viral proteins. You have the results in a few minutes.
Antibody test: This test checks the blood to see if the person has previously been infected with the virus. (It cannot detect if the person is currently infected.) This test looks for antibodies that fight the virus – special proteins that the body makes to fight infection.
Should my child be tested?
In general, children with COVID-19 only have the symptoms of a mild cold rather than a more serious illness, except in specific cases. In adults, it is the opposite. One of the benefits of performing the test is informing the child and the father or mother of the infection; this can help prevent further transmission. If a child is showing symptoms, you should talk with your pediatrician about the need for the test. Regardless of the test, if your child does catch a cold, adults at home should take extreme precautions not to catch a cold: wash their hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. If your child has stronger symptoms (continued high fever, breathing difficulties, and is not eating or drinking well), call your pediatrician. Parents are encouraged to contact their pediatrician first. However, if it is serious and the child gets worse, you need to go to the emergency room.
Many facilities around the country have started offering a COVID-19 antibody test that can detect whether there has been a previous infection. Currently, such a test is available to adults who believe that, for medical reasons, it is important to know if there was a previous infection. Schedule an appointment with Primex Labs for your COVID test.