What You Have to Know About “Inconclusive” COVID-19 Test Results
There are several benefits to obtaining a COVID-19 certification. Perhaps you are suffering from flu-like symptoms or have been infected with the virus. If you’re going on vacation or seeing a sick relative, you should consider getting tested for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 test can detect SARS-CoV-2 infection regardless of the purpose for testing. Additionally, they may also work in different ways. However, while a COVID-19 test can help determine whether you are infected, it is not always accurate. Other times, results can be “inconclusive.”
Read on to learn more about “inconclusive” COVID-19 test results, as well as what to do next.
The Fundamentals of COVID-19 Testing
While all COVID-19 tests can help you determine if you have the virus, some are more accurate than others. Although most COVID-19 tests collect nasal mucus, others collect saliva from the mouth or throat.
Viral antigens in your mucus are detected using rapid assays (proteins found on the surface of viruses). Antigen testing, on the other hand, produces results in a couple of minutes (much like a pregnancy test). The latter is less exact and more likely to result in false negatives, meaning a person infected with the virus might have an incorrect negative result.
To detect the virus’s genetic material, COVID-19 PCR, viral RNA, and nucleic acid tests must all be performed. After this process, results may be ready within hours, or even a day or two. Additionally, such false-positive results from these tests are uncommon.
Because of the ease and speed with which antigen testing may be performed, it is still widely employed. If the antigen test results in a negative result, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test should be performed as a confirmatory test. Inconclusive outcomes, on the other hand, are the exception.
The COVID-19 Test Results
COVID-19 tests can yield one of three outcomes:
1. Positive Result
SARS-CoV-2 or antigens were discovered in your mucus sample, depending on the test.
2. Negative Result
Neither of them was discovered at the time.
3. Inconclusive Result
A laboratory’s interpretation of a test result may be incorrect, leaving patients with an inconclusive result. If the laboratory is unable to interpret your test owing to a variety of variables, such as a lack of mucus sample, a new infection, or nearing recovery, your results may be inconclusive.
Steps to Take with An Inconclusive COVID-19 Test Result
Receiving an inconclusive COVID-19 test result is disheartening, given that it provides you and your loved ones no peace of mind. Whatever your purpose for testing for COVID-19, if your results are inconclusive, you should retest.
Following an inconclusive test result, continue to self-isolate or follow quarantine recommendations until you obtain your new test results. You may also speak with your doctor or a local health agency to learn more about what to do if your lab results are unclear.
Seeking Medical Advice
If you’ve recently been exposed to COVID-19 or are having any coronavirus symptoms, the smart thing to do is to isolate and schedule an at-home testing service or at the nearest clinic nearby.
COVID-19 testing is available at a number of pharmacies and clinics. Contact your local health agency for more information on COVID-19 testing. If your flu-like symptoms increase or do not improve, see a doctor.
Additionally, it would be best to seek emergency medical attention if you or someone you know is suffering from breathing problems, chest discomfort, confusion or brain fog, trouble focusing, trouble sleeping, as well as pallid skin, lips, or nail beds.
These signs and symptoms may indicate a medical emergency, but it’s important to note that these are not the only ones that should be addressed. At the age of a pandemic, almost any sickness should be treated immediately. At the same time, continue strengthening your immune system through a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management, among others.
If you need to schedule a PCR test in Santa Fe, Aspen Medical Center can aid your needs of urgent care. Our experienced medical staff are experts in offering essential primary care designed to keep you and your loved ones healthy. Give us a call today to set an appointment!