How are the test samples collected?
Coronavirus samples are currently collected by placing a swab into the nose and throat. This sample once collected is placed in a test tube and sent to one of our specialist London based laboratories where it will be analysed. The swab is then usually sent in a test tube to the lab to be analysed.
Antibody tests will require a blood sample. We can offer either a finger prick test or a more accurate full blood sample test which is again sent to our laboratories for analysis.
Why do I need a test to travel?
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, most countries have put in place travel restrictions to discourage non-essential travel, to contain further spread of the virus. There are stringent guidelines for essential travellers too, ranging from documentation to prove they are asymptomatic to 14 to 28 days of quarantine once you reach your destination. Several countries require that permitted international travellers furnish results of PCR tests conducted 72 hours before embarking on their journey and/or a self-declaration form that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms along with details of their travel history.
We currently offer the Abbot’s Coronavirus PCR Swab Test which detects current coronavirus infection. A negative result could allow passengers to travel to certain countries as well as provide exemption to travellers from quarantine too. Our tests are >99% accurate in detecting the RNA from coronavirus and are conducted in a CQC certified lab, under Public Health England (PHE) guidelines.
How long does it take to get my results?
Why would I take a Coronavirus test?
What happens if the sample fails?
How accurate is the test when taken correctly?
What does a positive result mean?
A positive result means that the genetic material in coronavirus (RNA) has been detected in the body, indicating a current COVID-19 infection. It is recommended that if a positive result is obtained on an Antigen test a PCR test should be carried out in turn to confirm the positive result.
What does a negative result mean?
A negative result means that RNA has not been detected in the body, and therefore there is not a current COVID-19 infection.
Could I get a negative result even if I have a COVID-19 infection?
All Coronavirus PCR tests might give a negative result in someone who has a current COVID-19 infection. This is because the PCR swab must make contact with the virus – so if the body is not shedding the virus in the nose or throat, or if the swab misses the area with the virus, a negative result will be returned. This can affect up to 30% of people who have the infection and take the test. This issue affects all coronavirus PCR tests including those from other providers (including the NHS).
Why do Public Health England have to be informed of positive results?
Our laboratory is required to inform Public Health England of all positive coronavirus PCR results in accordance with the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010. This requirement covers a range of notifiable infectious diseases that can have serious consequences for public health, including COVID-19. Public Health England may ask Medichecks to provide your contact details to them so that they can contact you to arrange testing of people that you have been in contact with.
Does a positive result mean I have immunity to COVID-19?
No, a positive result does not mean you have immunity to COVID-19. A positive result will indicate that you have a current COVID-19 infection. A Coronavirus Antibody Test will confirm whether you have antibodies present in the body as the result of a previous COVID-19 infection. However, we do not yet know whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in the blood provides any lasting immunity or protection from future infection.
If I have a positive test for coronavirus does this mean I won’t be eligible for a vaccine?
We are awaiting guidelines for the deployment of the coronavirus vaccine. When someone has a positive PCR test the body’s immune system will already be in the process of producing antibodies, and there will be plenty of viral protein available for the immune system to react to. So vaccinating at the same time as having active coronavirus infection is unlikely to help with the immune response. In addition, vaccination is usually best delayed until any short term illness has passed, so if someone has an active coronavirus infection it is unlikely that vaccination would be recommended.