How a PCR test is done

COVID-19 can be diagnosed using the PCR test COVID-19 on the nose swab. COVID-19 is most likely if you receive a positive test result. If you get a negative impact, you did not have COVID-19 at the time of the test.If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have been expose to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should be getting tested for the virus.

What is a PCR test, and how does it differ from other tests?

The polymerase chain reaction is referred to as PCR. For example, it can detect a virus’s genetic material. If you are infected with a virus at the time of the test, the test will see it. Even if you are no longer sick, the test may still be able to identify traces of the virus.

What is COVID-19 PCR?

The PCR test for COVID-19 is a molecular test that looks for genetic material (ribonucleic acid or RNA) from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It uses your upper respiratory specimen. To detect SARS-CoV-2, scientists employ the PCR technique to amplify small amounts of RNA from samples into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Since February 2020, the PCR test for COVID-19 diagnosis has been the gold standard. It’s reliable and accurate.


If you have any of the following symptoms, your doctor may consider testing for COVID-19.

Cold or flu symptoms.

  • Cough.
  • Breathlessness or difficulty in taking a breath.
  • Fatigue.
  • Aches and pains in various parts of the body.
  • Headache.
  • Taste or fragrance has been lost for the first time in a long time.
  • There’s a sore throat in there.
  • A runny or stuffed-up nose.
  • Vomiting or nausea.
  • Diarrhea.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may not be present in all patients. The list of symptoms above isn’t exhaustive, and not everyone sick has all of them. Even if you’ve vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic, you should seek medical attention if you’re experiencing any symptoms.


The COVID-19 PCR test has three critical steps:

Healthcare providers use swabs to collect respiratory debris from your nose. A swab is a long, flexible stick with a soft tip that is used to clean your nose. Nasopharyngeal and nasal swabs are two different types of nose swabs that can be use to collect samples from within the nasal cavity. The COVID-19 PCR test can be perform with either type of swab. The swab is put in a tube and sent to a laboratory after collection.

Laboratory scientists isolate (extract) genetic material from the rest of the sample when they get a specimen.

Thermal cyclers and particular chemicals and enzymes are use in the PCR process, and a PCR machine is also known as a thermal cycler. An increasing amount of the targeted genetic material is found in each heating and cooling cycle. There are millions of copies in the test tube after several cycles of a modest amount of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material. If SARS-CoV-2 is present in the sample, one of the compounds in the tube emits a fluorescent light. The PCR machine can detect this signal after it has been sufficiently amplified. Scientists using specialized software interpret the signal as a positive test result.

What can we infer from the COVID-19 PCR test outcomes?

A SARS-CoV-2 infection is likely if you have a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. The asymptomatic infection could be to blame, but if you’re experiencing symptoms, you have COVID-19. Most people can recuperate at home without the need for medical attention. If your symptoms worsen or have questions or concerns, contact your healthcare professional.

It is possible that you did not have SARS-CoV-2 when your specimen was obtained if your test result is negative. However, the test may not detect the virus if you have COVID-19. If you’ve just been exposed to COVID-19 but haven’t yet shown any symptoms, or if you’ve had it for more than a week before getting tested, this could be the case. Even if you obtain a negative test result, that doesn’t guarantee you’re immune to the SARS-Cov-2 virus for the rest of your life.

Make an appointment with your doctor and stay at home if you have a positive test result. Even if your results come back negative, you should continue to take precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Do coronavirus test results take longer to arrive?

In most cases, you’ll be notified of the results within 24 hours of submitting your sample. However, this can vary depending on how long the representative arrives at the laboratory.

How long after having COVID-19 do you test positive?

A minimal amount of virus material can be detect using the PCR test’s high sensitivity. This means that even after you’ve recovered from COVID-19 and are no longer contagious, the test can still find SARS-CoV-2 viral pieces. As a result, if you had COVID-19 in the past, you may still test positive for SARS-CoV-2 even if you can no longer transmit the virus.

Immunocompromised patients are at risk of developing a long-term infection if they continue to expel infectious viruses for months on end. In addition, even healthy individuals might re-infect. If you are found to infected with SARS-CoV-2 but believe you have already recovered from COVID-19, speak with your doctor.

Is there a better COVID test than the other?

In general, the antigen test is faster than the PCR test but less accurate. In cases where an antigen test is negative, your healthcare professional may ask you to undergo an additional PCR test to verify the negative result.

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