It has become easier and more convenient to know if you’re infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus within minutes of taking an at-home COVID-19 test in the comfort of your home, using a readily available over the counter (OTC) COVID-19 test.
When you attend an indoor event or gathering, you’re not going to have first-hand information concerning the health of all the individuals in attendance. Some of these people you are meeting may include older adults at very high risk of contracting COVID-19, people whose immunity has been compromised, or others at risk of severe diseases such as cancer or kidney diseases. It would be best to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test at home immediately before attending the gathering for these reasons alone.
At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Several medical interventions have been available for you since the overwhelming onset of COVID- 19 two years ago with the latest being at-home COVID-19 Tests, which have been authorized by Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Below are a few of the most popular COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in 2022…
This Abbott BinaxNOW Covid-19 Antigen Test is a lateral flow immunoassay intended for the qualitative detection of nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in direct anterior nasal (nares) swabs if you are suspecting COVID-19 or have recognized COVID-19 symptoms for at least seven days since the symptoms began.
This test will result in detecting active COVID-19 infection, including multiple strains, within 15 minutes. You need to self-test twice within three days, i.e., have a 36-hour interval between the first and second tests.
If you are positive for COVID-19, you will see two pink (or purple) lines on the result window, while a negative result will have a single pink or purple line on the top half of the COVID-19 test result window where it indicates “control.”
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) on the interim results of a clinical study where the BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test was compared to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorized high sensitivity SARS-CoV-2 test, BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test correctly identified 91.7% of positive specimens and 100% of negative specimens.
You can acquire the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test by buying the test kit online, in a pharmacy, or in a retail store. You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions to perform the test correctly, collect the nasal specimen and then test it.
The Flowflex COVID-19 Home Antigen Test is a lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay intended for the qualitative detection of the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in anterior nasal swab specimens directly from you within seven days after you show symptoms. You may have been exposed but don’t show signs or other epidemiological reasons to suspect COVID-19, such as an outbreak in your office, etc.
The FDA authorized this test for non-prescription home use with self-collected anterior nasal swab specimens directly from you -aged 14 years and older or with samples you have collected from your child 2 years or older. You must read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions before using the self-test kit. You can purchase the self-test kit online or at a pharmacy near you.
The Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test accuracy was established in an all-comers clinical study from March 2021 to May 2021 using 172 self-collected nasal swabs from 108 symptomatic participants (Within 7 days of showing symptoms) suspected of COVID-19 and 64 asymptomatic participants.
All the participants were screened for the presence or absence of COVID-19 symptoms within two weeks of enrolling for the study. The Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test was compared to an FDA-approved molecular SARS-CoV-2 test. The Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test correctly identified 93% of positive specimens and 100% of negative specimens.
For a positive test, you will see two pink lines, i.e., one on the “C” -Control line and another on the “T” -Test line, while for a negative result, you will only see a line on the “C.” You have to retest within 72 hours but less than 48 hours, i.e., 36 hours after the first test.
The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test is a lateral flow assay intended for the qualitative detection of nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2. You are allowed to use this test for non-prescription home use with your self-collected anterior nasal (nares) swab samples if you are aged 15 years or older with symptoms of COVID-19 within the first 7 days of showing the symptoms.
You are also allowed to use this test for non-prescription home use with anterior nasal (nares) swab samples you have collected from your child aged 2 years or older with symptoms of COVID-19 within the first 7 days of showing the symptoms.
You may get the need to test after you have recognized symptoms or without symptoms after being exposed or other epidemiological reasons that make you suspect COVID-19. The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test should be done twice over three days with at least 24 hours (and no more than 48 hours) interval between tests. You can get it over the counter at a pharmacy or retailer near you or online.
If the specimen you extracted contains SARS-CoV-2 antigens, a pink-to-purple T Line and a pink-to-purple C Line will appear on the COVID-19 Test Card, indicating a positive result.
In a study carried out by FDA, the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test was compared to an FDA authorized molecular SARS-CoV-2 test using fresh self-collected or parent/guardian collected anterior nasal swab specimens from 2 years individuals or older with or without symptoms.
The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test correctly identified 33 out of 35 (94.3%) symptomatic positive samples and 102 out of 104 (98.1%) symptomatic negative samples.
On/Go 10-minute COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test is a lateral flow assay intended for the qualitative finding of nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in just 10 minutes. On/Go 10-minute COVID-19 antigen Self-Test delivers results with 95% accuracy and can be used to detect the antigen proteins from all major known COVID-19 variants.
You can take self-collected anterior nasal (nares) swab samples from about ¾ inches in your nose or nares samples you have collected from your child aged 2 years or older with symptoms of COVID-19 within the first 7 days of showing signs.
You may also feel the need to self-test or test your loved ones without symptoms if they have been exposed or for other epidemiological reasons, and should perform the test two times within 72 hours or 3days, i.e., 36 hours after the first test, not 48 hours later.
If you don’t have COVID-19 antigens, a negative result (COVID-19 Not Detected) will indicate a single pink or red line next to the “C” on the test device but no other lines. In contrast, if you have COVID-19, a positive result (COVID-19 Detected) will show a pink or red line next to the “C” on the test device AND a purple line next to the “T.” The purple line may be very faint, but if the lines are two, then the result is positive.
The CareStart COVID-19 Antigen Test is a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay intended for the qualitative detection of the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal or anterior nasal swab specimens.
You can directly collect the specimen from your nose (as indicated on the manufacturer’s manual or directions of use) if you suspect that you have contracted COVID-19 within the first five days that you started experiencing the symptom.
One can also self-test if you don’t have symptoms, but you or a loved one has been exposed to the virus or other epidemiological reasons that make you suspect COVID-19. You should perform the test twice over two or three days with at least 24 hours and no more than 48 hours between tests.
The CareStart COVID-19 Antigen test on 180 samples, 31 symptomatic samples, and 149 asymptomatic samples showed a 95% confidence interval in both adults and children within 5 days of symptoms appearing.
For a positive test, you will see two pink or red lines, i.e., one on the “C” -Control line and another on the “T” -Test line, while for a negative result, you will only see a line on the “C.”
The Bottom Line on Staying Safe from COVID-19
Self-tests, vaccinations, wearing a well-fitted face mask, and social distancing help protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19 only if carried out correctly. A negative test result is presumptive, and therefore you need to follow it up with molecular RT-PCR tests to be sure since a false negative can be very dangerous to you and your community. There are several COVID-19 tests available to you for at-home use or at a point of care facility too.
Due to supply chain concerns affecting the globe, you may want to stock up on COVID-19 tests for yourself, family, and friends – especially if you’re in public often and around a lot of people not from your own household. You can save money by shopping on Bttn, a leading wholesale medical supply store by purchasing at-home COVID-19 tests in bulk as you can split the cost of the tests with family and friends if you desire too.