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What’s The Difference Between COVID-19 Tests?

(Molecular/PCR, antigen, antibody test)

Diagnostic Tests

Molecular (eg. RT-PCR) and antigen (eg. Rapid test) tests are types of diagnostic tests.

These tests can detect if you have an active COVID-19 infection.

Samples for diagnostic tests are nose or throat swab or saliva.

Antibody tests

Used to look for antibodies produced in response the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose an active COVID-19 infection.

If you have antibodies in your body, it means you had a previous COVID-19 infection. There is not enough data to show whether the presence of these antibodies is protective or not against future infections. Results from this test should not be used to find out if you have immunity from the virus.

You should not stop taking preventive measurements such as social distancing and wearing masks or delay recommended vaccination if your antibody test is positive.

Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery.

Blood is used as a sample for these tests.

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