by | Sep 14, 2022

The facts about RATs

What is a rapid antigen test (RAT)?

A rapid antigen test, commonly referred to as a RAT, is a quick, convenient way to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus. They are easy-to-use and can provide results within 10 – 20 minutes.

They can be done at home and without help from a healthcare worker.

When should I get a rapid antigen test?

  • If you are in close contact with someone (e.g. household member, friend, colleague or pupil) who has, or has had Covid-19 in the last two weeks, it is recommended that you take a test – even if you have no symptoms.
  • If you want to give yourself some peace of mind before visiting a vulnerable loved one, for example a family member or someone in hospital.
  • If you want to quickly check whether or not you have Covid-19 before attending a crowded event, for example, a wedding or a concert.
  • To abide by an established surveillance program, such as one organised by your school or employer.

Who can use a rapid antigen test (RAT)?

Rapid antigen tests can be used by adults and children alike.

Tests for children should be performed or supervised by an adult. Some rapid antigen test kits cannot be used with infants and young children.

Carefully follow the instructions provided with the testing kit to ensure the rapid antigen test is utilised correctly.

If you’re unsure if your child or a family member can use a rapid antigen test, please contact your healthcare professional.

Can rapid antigen tests be used to detect the Omicron variant of Covid-19?

Yes, rapid antigen tests can detect Covid-19 regardless of which strain (Delta, Alpha or Omicron), with data still emerging about their sensitivity towards newer mutations.

How accurate are rapid antigen tests?

Rapid Antigen Tests can be used by adults and children alike.

Tests for children should be performed or supervised by an adult. Some rapid antigen test kits cannot be used with infants and young children.

Carefully follow the instructions provided with the testing kit to ensure the Rapid Antigen Test is utilised correctly.

If you’re unsure if your child or a family member can use a rapid antigen test, please contact your healthcare professional.

taking medicine with or without food

How do rapid antigen tests work?

The test is for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens in self collected swab specimens. A positive test result indicates Covid-19 present in the specimen, and thus in the individual. 

RATs come in two different forms, where it can contain either a saliva test or a nasal swab test. Kits will usually contain:  

  • Test device 
  • Spit funnel or nasal swab  
  • Test tube with dropper cap to collect samples  
  • Buffer (chemical solution that extract the virus from samples) 
  • Instructions for use.  

The majority of rapid antigen test kits come with their own instructions and instruction booklet. 

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

Symptoms of Covid-19 can range from mild to severe. Some people recover easily, and others get very sick, very quickly. Covid-19 symptoms can be similar to other common illnesses, such as colds and flu, or allergies.

If you test positive for Covid-19, you may experience some of the following:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath.
  • runny nose or congestion
  • headache or fatigue
  • muscle or joint pains
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste.

What do I do if the test result is negative?

A negative result indicates that you are negative for Covid-19 or that the viral load is too low to be recognised by the test. However, it is possible for the test to give a negative result that is incorrect (a false negative) in some people with Covid-19. This means that you could possibly have Covid-19 even though the test is negative.

As a basic rule of thumb, if you test negative but are showing signs of symptoms, it is best to get a PCR test just to be sure.

What do I do if the test result is positive?

It is likely you have Covid-19. The result is positive even if the second line is very thin/faint.

What to do next:

  • Isolate immediately.
  • Get a PCR test immediately.
  • Tell the testing site about your positive rapid antigen test.

How do I get medication if I am isolating?

Things can get pretty complicated when you are forced to isolate with Covid-19. But, do not worry, Chemist2U is here to help.

We have made it easier than ever to get the medical care and assistance you need, all within the comfort and safety of your own home.

Our medication and online prescription delivery service means you don’t even need to leave the couch to access a whole range of pharmacy goods.

What’s more, if you order before the indicated cut-off time, you can expect to see your order arrive at your door that very same day. (Safe drop-off protocol will be followed.)

How Chemist2U works:

  • Once you have downloaded our app or visited our website, you enter your delivery address and start browsing the various categories of pharmacy products, adding what you need to your cart.
  • If you need prescription medication, you simply upload a photo or scan of your script which will be quickly processed by one of our partner pharmacies. Once a script has been approved, you will be notified and you can then review the order and make final payment.
  • After ordering, you will be given an estimated delivery time frame and receive SMS updates to confirm your prescriptions are in order and on track. If at any time there are issues or you need help, our customer service team is available here.
  • Alternatively, if your prescription has expired, or you’ve just ordered your last repeat, you can access instant, online prescriptions for a range of medications through our website and via our partner, InstantScripts. Just click here and you’ll be taken to the InstantScripts website. From there, you can request a script, if you know what medication you need, or book an online consultation with a GP.

We offer a whole range of prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicines to help with your recovery from Covid-19:

  • Prescription medications such as antibiotics
  • Rehydration solutions (e.g. Hydralyte and Gastrolyte)
  • Sore throat treatments (e.g. Strepsils and Betadine Sore Throat Gargle)
  • Paracetamol
  • Nurofen
  • Codral Night
  • Face masks
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Vitamins and Berocca

 

Medication when you need it. Straight from the chemist to you.

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