COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Rapid antigen tests. They’ve become increasingly popular. Local libraries give them out for free and are tools schools are using as well.
Like many topics dealing with the coronavirus. There’s misinformation swirling about these tests as well.
Dr. Joseph Gastaldo with OhioHealth explained, when it comes to testing, it’s important to understand why it’s used and what the limitations are.
“Antigen tests really perform very well with what’s most important. Do you have an infection with this virus and are you contagious,” he said.
Dr. Gastaldo said at home tests are essential and you need to understand how they work.
A rapid antigen test’s main purpose is to determine whether or not you’re contagious and can spread COVID-19.
“The caveat for antigen testing is when you test somebody who is asymptomatic and in that regard, the better way to do it is actually do an antigen test now and then consider repeating it again in one to two days.”
A PCR test is still the gold standard for confirming if someone is negative or positive for COVID-19, especially for people who are not showing symptoms.
Gastaldo said, if you have questions or concerns about tests, make sure your research is from a trusted source.
“In addition to COVID 19 we’ve all been dealing with what I call an info-demic there’s been all kinds of misinformation about testing about treatments about vaccines and immunology.”
Along with testing and news on booster shots, Gastaldo added that it’s important to not forget the bigger picture.
“Number one, it is still more important from a pandemic perspective to get vaccines into arms who have not yet received them,” Gastaldo said.
Dr. Gastaldo also talked about monoclonal antibodies which are meant to help people fighting COVID-19 stay out of the hospital. they are not a substitution for getting the vaccine.