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  • Right now, the majority of tests being used to diagnose COVID-19

  • are genetic tests known as PCR tests.

  • These tests are very accurate because

  • even if there's only a tiny amount of virus

  • present in a patient sample,

  • PCRwhich stands for polymerase chain reaction

  • is able to take genetic material from the virus,

  • target specific gene segments that only that virus has,

  • and make a very large number of copies of those segments

  • so that they can be detected and measured.

  • Using this method, a PCR test

  • can tell you if you have COVID-19 right now,

  • but not if you've had it in the past.

  • Although this type of test usually delivers results in 4 to 6 hours.

  • It's worth noting that PCR testing

  • is very complicatedand costly

  • and not all healthcare facilities have the ability to perform it.

  • Facilities that can't run this type of test

  • may have to send patient samples to a reference laboratory

  • and wait several days for the results.

  • On the other side of this spectrum,

  • the FDA has also approved a few rapid PCR-based tests

  • that give results in less than an hour.

  • At least initially,

  • these rapid tests were reserved for triaging patients in hospitals

  • and for testing healthcare workers.

  • Now that production of these tests has ramped up further,

  • rapid corona testing centers for the general public

  • are starting to open in several states across the U.S.

Right now, the majority of tests being used to diagnose COVID-19

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B1 INT US pcr rapid testing virus healthcare genetic

What Is PCR Testing for COVID-19?

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    Eunice Lin   posted on 2020/08/25
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