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Flu | RSV | COVID-19 | Strep

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COVID / Flu / RSV and Strep Rapid Antigen

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to cause infections, and symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness. One can be infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs.  It can present as anything from a mild to severe illness, and at times can even lead to death.

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) affects approximately 64 million people worldwide each year.  In most adults and older children, the symptoms are usually mild and “cold-like”, and can resolve on their own after a few days.

Strep throat is not caused by a virus, rather by a bacterial infection.  There are numerous types of the Streptococcus bacteria, and each type can cause a wide range of symptoms throughout the body; but the most common type for infections in the throat is Streptococcus Group A (Strep A).

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Test Details

A rapid (i.e. antigen) test can be used to identify if you currently have or are infected with any of the most common types of respiratory viruses (COVID-19, influenza A and/or influenza B, or RSV) as well as the bacteria for Strep throat (Streptococcus A).

A simple nasal swab sample is used to look for antigens (surface proteins and other substances) unique to any of the respiratory viruses (COVID-19, influenza, RSV) for identification.  Strep A can similarly be identified by a throat swab used for the same kind of antigen test.

Results from this type of test can be made available in 10 to 15 minutes for each of the tests run, and can help identify if symptoms are due to an infection with any of the viruses or bacteria.  Interpretation of these tests can help your healthcare provider better identify potential causes for what might be ailing you, and if identified in time could help lead to an appropriate treatment, if one is available.

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FAQs

WHAT IS AN ANTIGEN TEST?

By using a specialized device that targets a variety of proteins and other surfaces unique to the various microorganisms, a small sample is filtered through using a nasal or throat swab.  If an antigen is present, the antibodies in the device will bind to them and create a positive response which can then be read/identified.

WHY DO I NEED THIS TEST?

If you believe you have COVID, “the flu”, RSV or Strep throat; or have had nonspecific respiratory symptoms or a sore throat recently, and want to better identify a potential cause.

WHAT TYPE OF SPECIMEN WILL BE COLLECTED FOR THIS TEST?

This test requires either a nasal or nasopharyngeal specimen collection for any of the respiratory viruses, or a throat swab for Strep A.

AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?

No, fasting is not required. There are no dietary or medicinal restrictions to take this test.

IS A DOCTOR’S ORDER REQUIRED?

Any Lab Test Now’s ordering physician will provide the required physician’s order on your behalf.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY LAB TEST RESULTS?

Results from rapid antigen tests are usually available within 10-15 minutes.  This time would apply to each test, not all of them at the same time.  Contact your testing location for more information regarding when the results will be available.

IS THIS TEST APPROVED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)?

Yes.  All tests have been cleared for usage by the FDA under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I HAVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT?

If you have a positive result for this test, it would indicate that a microorganism was identified and that you are considered to be infected with the virus or bacteria, and presumed to be contagious.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I HAVE A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT?

If you have a negative result, it would mean that no viral or bacterial antigen was found and it is most likely you are not infected with this particular type of microorganism at the time of test. It is still possible that the amount of virus/bacteria was too low to detect with this initial test, or that you can still become infected later.  A negative result should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other medical management decisions and should be combined with clinical observation and patient history in some cases.

IF I AM INFECTED BUT DON’T HAVE SYMPTOMS, CAN I STILL SPREAD THE INFECTION?

Yes, some people who have been infected with these types of viruses, or with Strep A, might not display any symptoms (referred to as asymptomatic); however, they can still be contagious and spread the infection to other people.

WHAT IF I WANT TO DISCUSS THE RESULTS WITH A PHYSICIAN?

You can share your results with your healthcare provider or contact our telemedicine partner, DialCare, and they will assist you in interpreting the results. Any Lab Test Now does not diagnose or interpret results.