You’re not helpless against COVID! More than 570 million confirmed cases of COVID have taken place all throughout the world.
Yet you can protect yourself and take charge of your health with OTC COVID tests. But don’t rush to the store and buy tests just yet. You need to know when and how to use them.
What are the main symptoms of COVID, and when should you get medical attention? What over-the-counter tests are available? How can you take a COVID test?
Answer these questions and you can make the most out of COVID tests. Here is your quick guide.
Recognize Symptoms of COVID
You should get at-home testing whenever you show symptoms of COVID. The most common symptoms include a cough, congested nose, fatigue, and shortness of breath. But you can also develop headaches, digestion problems, and a loss of taste or smell.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have trouble breathing or chest pain. Head to the hospital or call 911 and then receive a COVID-19 test.
Look at a Few Different OTC COVID Tests
There are a few kinds of tests you can take for COVID. Molecular tests detect the genetic material in the virus, and they are highly accurate. However, you may need to wait a few hours to receive your results, and you may need to send samples to a lab.
Antigen tests detect viral antigens within your body using nasal swabs. They are less accurate, but the CDC and other organizations recommend them for testing.
Keep Everything Clean
Whatever test you use, you need to keep the materials and the surfaces clean. You can use alcohol wipes to clean the table you will put your testing materials on. You should also wash your hands and face with hot water and soap.
Follow the Instructions
Each test has its own instructions. Read the instructions carefully before you perform the test.
In general, you need to take a nasal sample, which means placing a swab up your nose. Try to put the swab at least half an inch up your nose, as the virus may be further up your nasal cavity.
Wait for the Test Results
You will need to wait a few minutes for the test to produce results. Be patient and set a timer for yourself so you know when to look at the test kit.
If you test positive, you should prepare to quarantine until your symptoms are gone. If you test negative, you can attend to your normal responsibilities. Do not reuse your testing materials, and throw them away to avoid contamination.
Use OTC COVID Tests Today
OTC COVID tests give you fast results after you’ve had symptoms. COVID can lead to many different symptoms, but most people experience a cough, fever, and congestion.
Antigen tests are less accurate than molecular tests, yet they offer quick results with very few false positives. Wash your hands, then read the testing instructions and follow them to the letter. Wait a few minutes for the test results and throw your testing materials away.