NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Are you confused about COVID testing? You are not alone.
There is the PCR test focused on genetic material. The antibody test checks for COVID exposure.
Now a new type of test aimed at proteins linked to the virus. The antigen test is the latest, granted FDA emergency use authorization.
“It’s looking for presence of the virus but the difference is it doesn’t require all these amplification steps. As people have heard about, there has been a shortage of reagents and all those other steps in between, so that’s the advantage of those tests,” says infectious disease specialist Dr. Manisha Juthani with Yale Medicine.
A result in just 15 minutes but less accurate than other tests with a higher risk of a false negative. The FDA recommends confirming that negative result.
Dr. Juthani says, “I think we need to see in general these type of tests to be faster but you still need to confirm with the PCR test that we have been doing.”
The first at-home testing kit using a saliva sample is also getting the FDA emergency okay.
Rutgers University researchers reporting that it is just as effective as other tests.
“You need to be able to talk to your doctor and make sure you are getting your specimen collected properly,” says Dr. Juthani.
The collecting process is less invasive for users. And health care professionals are not put at risk.
The saliva test does require a prescription.
She says, “A study that came out of Yale showed similar findings that saliva maybe a good way to test.”
Possibly a good way to fight off COVID-19 is taking Vitamin D. There is no scientific proof but studies show patients with healthy levels of Vitamin D were better protected against the novel coronavirus.
“What I would take from this,” says Dr. Juthani, “is not to go overdosing on Vitamin D, but to maintain good vitamin levels. If you are an older woman, you take calcium with Vitamin D. That should be sufficient. If you think you may not get enough vitamins and you take a daily vitamin, then that should be sufficient.”