Rapid Antigen Tests Explained

Lockdown is over and state boarders are open but many of us are still worried about spreading COVID. Thankfully, you’ll be able to put your mind at ease because you’ll be able tell whether you have the virus within 15 minutes!

As of next week, you’ll be able to grab rapid antigen tests from your local supermarket, pharmacy and even some petrol stations.

Sue Dunlevy, News Corp’s National Health Editor hosted a live chat with Allison Rossiter, Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics Australia whose company makes the kits at pharmacies, with Dr Lynette Waring, the chair of the Royal College Pathologist Australasia’ s microbiology advisory committee.

Watch it below or here.

Below we look at some of the questions answered throughout the video.

How Accurate are rapid tests?

The rapid tests aren’t as accurate as the brain tickling tests, and if a person tests positive they will need to get a regular test to confirm the diagnosis.

The tests are likely to miss a small number of Covid cases and some people will get a false positive result indicating they have the virus when they do not.

When do they work best?

The tests work best in the first week of a Covid infection and can pick up the virus even if you are asymptomatic.

How much are they?

The Roche test will be sold in pharmacies and cost around $60 for a pack of five, or $12 per test, bulk packs of rapid antigen tests are being sold online for around $80.

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