COVID Testing: Pros, and Cons

Each COVID testing type has its own pros and cons. Your testing depends on your symptoms or medical history at the time of your visit. However, to know whether you’re infected with COVID-19 or not, first take an antigen test to get quick results at home. If negative, then take another test after 48 hours (about 2 days) or visit your healthcare provider to take an RT-PCR test to confirm your results. If you want to know if you ever got infected with COVID-19 then take an antibody test to know. Learn about different COVID testing types and their pros and cons in this article.

What are the different COVID test types?

There are three primary COVID-19 test types: an antibody test (which looks for antibodies in the body from a prior infection), and molecular and antigen tests (which are used to diagnose the current infections).

Pros of each type

Here are the pros of each type of COVID testing.

  • Molecular tests pros
    • Minimal invasive: The sample is taken using nasal swabs, throat swabs, and tests of saliva or other bodily fluids which are minimally invasive methods.
    • Allows for social distancing: While some molecular tests, including RT-PCR, are conducted at a hospital or clinic, swabs can also be taken by patients at home.
    • Fewer false negatives in some instances: Deep nasal swabs have fewer false negatives compared with other tests such as throat swabs or saliva tests.
  • Antigen tests pros
    • Rapid results: This test is also used in pregnancy and provides results within minutes.
  • Antibody tests pros
    • To know your status: Research shows that many infected with COVID-19 show no or mild signs and symptoms of illness, so antibody tests can be useful to find out if you had it without knowing. Antibody test results can also guide the doctor in making clinical decisions about your care.
    • Understand disease prevalence: Researchers get a better understanding of how many people are infected and how deadly the virus is. They use the data to predict how COVID-19 might affect us in the future, including why some people get more severe symptoms than others.
    • Convalescent plasma therapy: This therapy uses the blood and antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat others who are suffering from COVID-19. This therapy is on a trial that needs more testing before use as a treatment option for COVID-19 infection.
    • To improve the vaccine: While the vaccine is available to prevent COVID-19 infection, new strains of viruses are found. To make the vaccine stronger, this test helps to verify how the new vaccine can respond in the patient’s body.

Cons of each type

Here are the cons of each type of COVID testing.

  • Molecular tests cons
    • Long waiting for results: These test results can be available within one to three days.
    • False negatives: These tests also produce false negative results where patients think they don’t have the virus, but they do. However, the rate of these false results can range from 2% to 37%.
    • Uncomfortable for some people: Tests like deep nasal swabs can be uncomfortable for some people, especially for small children and older adults.
  • Antigen tests cons
    • High false-negative rate: These tests produce higher false-negative rates than molecular tests, and research shows that rates are higher than 50%.
  • Antibody tests cons
    • Quality: There are several different antibody tests for COVID-19, and some perform better than others which may increase the risk of getting exposed to COVID-19 and not developing antibodies. These low-quality tests may also produce false positive results because you had another type of virus.
    • False sense of Immunity: Some people think that having COVID-19 antibodies makes them immune to the virus and won’t affect them again. However, currently, there is no evidence present that shows that recovered COVID-19 patients won’t get infected again. So, more research is needed, until then you need to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus if you get a positive COVID-19 test result.
    • Active infections: These tests’ negative results are not always accurate, which means there is still a chance you might have an active infection and haven’t built the antibodies to fight the infection yet. This also means you can spread the virus to others without knowing it.

If you need COVID testing or COVID vaccinations, visit our infectious diseases clinic in Brooklyn to get professional medical help. Doral Health and Wellness has several urgent care clinics around New York that can cater to your family’s medical needs. We also have the best medical providers, physicians and staff that are highly trained in their respective specialties. To know more about the locations of our urgent care clinics, you can visit us at Doral Health and Wellness. If you are looking for urgent care near you, you can visit Doral Health and Wellness Urgent Care. We provide urgent care for common illnesses and injuries. Additionally, we also provide comprehensive care for any related injuries and health problems. We also offer other services, such as vaccinations, immunizations, and blood testing. For more info, visit us or call 1-347-384-5690.