With the great spread of the new Omicron variant the use of a rapid Covid-19 antigen test
has become increasingly common. They represent an excellent ally when it comes to identifying contagions to attend to patients on time.
However, several doubts arise around these tests ( Covid-19 BOSON, Covid-19 NEWGENE, Covid-19 WESAIL, Covid-19 GOLDSIDE, Covid-19 FLOW FLEX ). They are certainly fast and practical, but how effective are they at detecting variants like the Omicron? Well, in this post I will talk to you about this so that you can clarify your doubts.
Variant of the Covid Omicron
Omicron is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid 19. According to the epidemiologist María Van Kerkhove, technical leader of the WHO Covid, the new Omicron variant is highly contagious and this is because it has mutations that make it easier for it to adhere to the body. human.
According to the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, it is between 2 or 3 times more contagious than the delta variant.
Omicron symptoms range from runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, and other common signs of Covid. Some research indicates that Omicron’s symptoms may be milder than other variants, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that it could aggravate patients to the point of requiring hospitalization or even death.
Virus first infects saliva and throat
Scientists have investigated and have said that the Omicron variant affects the saliva and throat first before the nostrils, so rapid oral fluid antigen tests are more effective than those performed with nasal samples.
A study carried out in the United States confirms this by verifying after analyzing the case that the Covid-19 saliva tests detected the virus three days before the nasal ones.
Are rapid antigen tests used to diagnose Omicron?
The conclusion reached is that all rapid Covid tests have a lower sensitivity than PCR tests, although they collect nasal and nasopharyngeal samples, there is a possibility of false negatives.
This also has to do with the moment in which the test is carried out, since it is best to take into account the recommendations of the experts on how to know the best time to seek the diagnosis.
Some experts in the United States have advised passing a swab down the throat and then the nose during the test. So did Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina, “I personally swabbed my throat and nose to get better sensitivity when using the over-the-counter tests at home.” However, it’s best to follow the instructions that come in the test kit .
On the other hand, if the result of the SARS-CoV2 rapid antigen test
is positive you can be almost completely sure that it is Covid, since false positives are not common.