Is it COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2? (I hear both of these terms)
COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is a new virus in humans causing a contagious respiratory illness. Symptoms for COVID-19 can be mild to severe while some people exhibit no symptoms at all.
What are the symptoms of someone infected with COVID-19?
Some common signs and symptoms of a COVID-19 infection can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Most common symptoms include: Fever, dry cough, tiredness
- Less common symptoms: Aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
- Serious symptoms: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech of movement
What are a COVID-19 Test Kits?
There are four different kinds of COVID-19 test kits. ProjectN95.org is offering two different types of test kits, both of which help to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. The two types of viral tests are an antigen test and a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). These are commonly referred to as diagnostic tests.
The other two types of kits measure if a person was previously infected with COVID-19 (antibodies) or helps with treating COVID-19 cases (by monitoring the infection via a biomarker related to inflammation). The PN95 marketplace will not offer these tests at this time.
A quick visual on the four types of tests:
What is the difference between the two tests offered by Project N95 - antigen test versus nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)?
Both an antigen test and a NAAT test help identify a current COVID-19 infection, but these tests measure different aspects of the virus.
- The NAAT or nucleic acid amplification test measures genetic material. For Covid-19, the test measures the RNA of the virus. It is also considered the most sensitive test for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. You will commonly hear this called a “PCR” test which is an example of the method and equipment used to measure the genetic material.
- An antigen test measures protein from a virus. It is not recommended for asymptomatic individuals, but has been reported to be as accurate as NAAT when a sample is taken within the first 5 days of onset of symptoms.
Are COVID-19 Testing Kits FDA-approved?
While there are no FDA-approved testing kits on the market, all testing kits on the PN95 marketplace have FDA EUA (emergency use authorization). To read more, see the following link: In Vitro Diagnostics EUAs | FDA
Does insurance reimburse for the cost of a COVID-19 diagnostic test kit?
Insurance reimbursement varies from kit to kit, including what documentation should be collected.
What is the price for one kit?
The price of the kit varies between from product to product depending on what is included - multiple tests vs. single tests, analyzers versus no analyzers and minimum order quantities.
What type of sample is collected for the kit?
Antigen and NAAT test samples can be collected in a number of ways - nasal (nasopharyngeal, mid-turbinate or anterior), saliva or sputum.
Is a healthcare professional needed to collect the sample for the test kit?
Kits designated as "self-administration" or "at home" do not require a healthcare professional to obtain a sample. If "trained administration" or "point-of-care" phrase is used to describe the test, a healthcare professional or other trained professional is required to obtain a sample.
Does the test kit require a prescription?
Most COVID-19 diagnostic testing kits today require a prescription, and each kit handles this differently. Some kits provide the physician upon the initial registration while other kits must be ordered and conducted by a healthcare professional.
Are these rapid tests that provide quick results?
Depending on the complexity of the test, a test could take up to 30 minutes or 3 days. It depends on the type of test to know how much time it will take for results.
Can I use a COVID-19 Test Kit for international travel?
Results from an antigen test or NAAT test are likely acceptable so long as the results are taken within the required timeframe of 3 days. Always check with local authorities to confirm any local testing requirements.