How to Test with SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit?
Although most of the world has returned to a new routine, the recent surge in various viruses, which had been kept at bay by two years of pandemic measures, indicates the growing need for quick, affordable, innovative, and convenient diagnostic solutions for the surveillance and differentiation of these infections. Here, multiplex assays based on the antigen-detection method can help address the challenges posed by SARS-CoV-2 and other common respiratory viruses with similar symptoms and seasonal patterns, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
These test kits have even become available for public use as self-tests. While its design allows for simple, quick, and safe testing without additional equipment or special training, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the materials and procedure beforehand to ensure maximum accuracy and safety. Read along to learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit and details on the testing procedure, the timing of testing, storage conditions, and disposal.
How does the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit Work?
The SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the simultaneous qualitative detection of antigens specific to SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in human nasal samples. Coming in a simple lateral flow test format, the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit is deliberately designed to allow for simple, quick, safe, and painless self-administration at home. It delivers results in real-time in no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
Similar to other diagnostic devices based on antigen detection, the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit detects unique proteins to each of the given pathogens by means of different sets of antibodies specific to each virus which bind and capture the viral antigens present in the processed sample as its flows along the surface of the assay. The kit also incorporates labeled antibodies to visualize the result and its validity. The appearance of the control line (C) indicates the validity of the results, whereas the presence of the test line (T) indicates that the result is positive for that particular virus.
How is the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit performed?
The overall accuracy of the results depends heavily on the adherence of the administrator to the instructions within the manual provided with the kit. As activities such as eating, drinking, smoking, vaping, chewing gum, and brushing your teeth can affect the validity and accuracy of the results, it is important to refrain from these activities for about 30 minutes before starting the procedure. In order to reduce the risk of contamination, you should also make sure to perform the test with clean hands and on a clean surface. Finally, you should ensure that each component of the kit is present, undamaged, and neatly packaged. At this point, you may need to set a timer to ensure that you finish the procedure on time and read your results within the period specified in the manual.
For the most accurate results, it is recommended that you gently blow your nose before collecting a nasal sample. When you are ready to start the test, remove the nasal swab from its packaging and insert its fabric end gently into one nostril for about 2.5 cm or 1 inch. When you meet a slight resistance, rotate the swab slowly against the inner wall of your nose a few times to collect a sample. Next, remove the swab from your nostril, insert it into the extraction tube, and rotate it within the extraction buffer a few times. In order to transfer the collected sample into the buffer as much as possible, press the fabric tip of the swab against the inner wall of the tube, and gently squeeze it in the solution a few times. Then, break the upper half of the swab from its breaking point, leave the other half inside the tube, and close the tube with its dropper head. Finally, remove the test strip from its packaging, place it on a flat surface, and gently squeeze the extraction tube to add 2 or 3 drops of the processed sample into the assigned well on the test strip. Your results should be ready in 15 to 20 minutes.
How should you store and dispose of the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit?
You should always refer to the guidelines provided with your test kit for instructions on the storage and disposal of your kit. The SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit requires a storage temperature between 2°C – 30°C. The kit should not be stored inside the freezer or under direct sunlight and should be used only at room temperature. In order to safely dispose of a used kit, all components should be put into the waste bag included within the kit immediately after use. After the waste bag is sealed securely, it can be safely disposed of in the general waste bin.
When should you take the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit?
The SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit has been intended for the differential detection of COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in patients with clinical and epidemiological risk factors. Since the clinical presentations and seasonal patterns of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV often overlap, the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit can assist in diagnosing patients with symptoms of and suspected exposure to these viruses. If you are experiencing symptoms common to these respiratory infections, including fever, chills, cough, sneezing, sore throat, runny or congested nose, fatigue, and myalgia, the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit can help you quickly check for infection at the comfort of your own home.
Another point to consider is the timing of the test. As rapid antigen tests such as the SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B & RSV Antigen Combo Self Test Kit offers a snapshot of your infection status, it is advised to take a test right before attending an event to avoid spreading a potential infection to your loved ones. However, if you would like to check your infection status following a suspected exposure to a virus, it is recommended to take a test within 5-7 days after the onset of your symptoms or to perform a series of tests to ensure maximum accuracy.
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