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Article: Can You Do a PCR Test After Having COVID?

Can You Do a PCR Test After Having COVID?

Can You Do a PCR Test After Having COVID?

A possibility of a false positive COVID test after recovery can’t be overlooked. This blog gives an overview of the relevance and accuracy of PCR after having COVID-19. Contact us for further help!

COVID-19 testing is the only way to determine whether or not you should maintain typical contact with people in your daily life. Even if you are showing no COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test result would mean isolation since the virus transfers through person-to-person contact. The isolation period for patients depends on their health conditions.

An asymptomatic patient can be tested through a lateral flow test (LFT). It is a relatively quicker and cheaper COVID-19 test as compared to the COVID-19 PCR test. It saves time as well, especially when you are travelling because you can buy a lateral flow test in Bristol or any other city in the UK.

SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 can be tested by means of two tests, i.e., PCR and LFT. This read serves as a guide for people on COVID-19 PCR Tests.

PCR Testing After Having Covid-19

Once you have fully recovered from COVID-19 symptoms, PCR can be a reliable way of confirming the absence of the infection. It can be performed after five days of complete recovery. But what worries patients is whether will PCR test be positive after having COVID? The test may not always be accurate. Research shows that PCR may generate false positive COVID-19 tests. Causes of false positive results include:

  1. Poor procedures of decontamination 
  2. Low specificity kits
  3. Cross-contamination of samples

Similarly, a negative COVID-19 test result does not necessarily translate into the complete non-existence of the virus. A COVID-19 patient may develop symptoms again after an initial negative COVID-19 test.

How Long Can You Test Positive For Covid-19?

Due to its sensitivity, a PCR test may continue detecting SARS-CoV-2 fragments even after the resolution of symptoms. Therefore, a patient should be careful in maintaining contact with people and, in particular, using public transport. According to Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner, “PCR test can stay positive for a long time.” 

So, how long will PCR be positive? Studies demonstrate that infection can stay up to 90 days in an infectious person’s body. This means that you can have a positive COVID-19 test result within this timeframe. Other than PCR, lateral flow tests, including self-tests like Flowflex Covid-19 test can be a safe COVID-19 testing method at home.

What You Should Know About PCR Testing?

PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction. PCR tests use the  RNA, or ribonucleic acid molecules of SARS-CoV-2 virus, to detect its existence within the human body. This virus is the cause of COVID-19, which is a respiratory infection. Three steps constitute the test, which are:

A PCR test can be performed at the appearance of even mild symptoms. You can receive the test result after 24 hours of sample collection through a nasal swab or saliva sample. A positive test result is a confirmation of infection. The following appropriate steps are taken depending on the results:

A PCR test can be done for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. It also serves as a deciding factor of complete recovery from COVID-19. Nevertheless, as previously discussed, PCR can yield false positive COVID tests after recovery. In such a case, there are great consequences for the person as their routine life gets disrupted.

All You Need to Know

COVID-19 treatments can only begin when a person having COVID-19 symptoms tests positive for the disease. PCR and lateral flow tests are the two reliable and accurate ways of confirming the existence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in our bodies. A PCR test result requires 24 hours and needs professional personnel and equipment, while a lateral flow test like the Healgen Covid-19 test can be done at home by people themselves. Once a patient contracts a virus, they may experience symptoms like shortness of breath and are mandated to isolate themselves to avoid being in contact with people. 

It should be kept in mind that the PCR test after having COVID may generate a false positive or a false negative report. Repetition of the test should happen after five days of either complete recovery or an initial false report.

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