They are a different way to test for Covid-19. And, as their name suggests, they can be used in the comfort of your own home.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at home testing kits for Covid and understand more about them. We’ll explain how they should be used and how they can keep you and your community safe.
How do the tests work?
The test kits are known as “rapid antigen test kits.” They’re rapid because they give you a result in only 15 minutes, while the “antigen” refers to the proteins found on the surface of the virus that causes Covid-19.
The tests work by recognising these proteins from the sample that comes from the inside of your nose when you swab it. You don’t even have to have symptoms of Covid 19 to use the test.
If you have the coronavirus, then you will see a line next to the letter T on the test device. The line might be brightly coloured and easy to spot, or it could be fainter.
It’s important to only read the test device between 15 and 20 minutes after you have squeezed the liquid sample into the well of the device.
How accurate are they?
In tests, the Panbio home test for Covid was found to correctly identify 99.8% of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid 19) negative samples and 98.1% of positive samples.
This means they are very accurate and a reliable way to find out whether you are infected.
But it’s important to understand that in some cases, you may still have the virus with a negative result.
And if you get a positive result, you should confirm this with a PCR test and seek advice from your doctor.
How can they keep me and my community safe?
One of the most useful things about rapid testing kits is that they can tell you straight away if you have been infected. This means that you can get in touch with your healthcare provider immediately for advice on the next steps to take, protecting yourself and your community without delay.
Knowing that you are infected means you can isolate straight away and prevent the spread of infection.
Because they are affordable, having a supply at home means that you can test whenever you need to know if you are infected.
This could be before visiting vulnerable friends or relatives, before attending a big event or as part of your routine to keep your workplace safe.
Home testing kits for Covid are particularly useful in childcare settings. Because only children aged five and over can currently get a Covid vaccination in Australia, very young children are vulnerable to infection.
But when staff test on a regular basis, they can get a real-time picture of whether or not they are infected.
The same goes if you have contact with other groups at higher risk of developing Covid-19. These include people aged 70 years and older and those who have long-term conditions such as a chronic lung disease or heart disease, or who are receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Will tests alone protect me and my family from Covid?
It’s clear that regular testing is just one of many ways you can protect yourself and your family from infection with the coronavirus.
While a home test kit for Covid will tell you whether or not you have been infected, you will still need to take care to protect yourself and others from the spread of infection, even if you test negative.
This means that you should:
- Get vaccinated
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser in between hand washing to kill germs
- Wear a face mask according to the rules in your area
- Catch coughs or sneezes in your bent elbow, not your hand
- Keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other people where possible
- Keep indoor areas well ventilated by opening windows
- Stay home if you show any symptoms of Covid-19, get tested and seek medical advice
Where can I get a home test kit in Australia?
Using a self-test kit for Covid-19 is a quick and convenient way to know whether you’ve been infected.
This means it can play a valuable role in helping to stop the spread of infection in your community.
FeverMates has invested in Panbio self-test kits as part of its health, safety and hygiene product collection for Australia-wide delivery.
They’re available to order in single, four, 10 or 20 pack sizes, so why not order today so you can test when needed for safety and peace of mind?