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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Dealing with COVID 19 tests, with MedConsult

Its been quite a 2021, and we can safely say that COVID-19 is a virus that we all have an awareness of. It has truly changed the lives of every person. 

Bangkok Local has interviewed Dr Donna Robinson from MedConsult in Thonglor, to learn about what steps we can take in terms of dealing with this virus, and what cost effective solutions are available to us.  The results of the interview are below.

“COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and was first learned about in late 2019. In simple terms, the COVID-19 virus targets the respiratory tract where symptoms such as sore throat, coughing, fever and body ache is prominent. In severe cases, the virus can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, heart problems, liver problems, and death.

Even once fully vaccinated it is still possible to catch and transmit the virus. The latest advice is still to  get yourself tested if you are developing symptoms or suspect you have come into contact with a positive COVID-19 case. This is the least we can all do to help control the spread of the virus and continue the safe reopening of our country. 

At MedConsult Clinic, we offer multiple COVID-19 tests to detect the virus –

The RT-PCR is the most commonly used molecular test and is the gold standard of COVID-19 testing. Our clinic provides a same day service for the test. Most travel requires this test to be taken 48-72 hours before departure. It is also advisable to take an RT-PCR to confirm the validity of a positive Rapid-Antigen Test. A sample is taken from the nose and throat with a swab, then using a machine, the viral genetic material is amplified in multiple cycles (similar to a washing machine) until detectable levels are reached. The Cycle Threshold (CT) value is the number of cycles the genetic material had to be amplified in to spot the virus. If a positive signal isn’t seen after 35 to 40 cycles, the test is negative. The lower the CT value the higher the viral load usually was in the specimen. The amplification process makes the testing method very reliable even in the early stages of catching COVID-19.

The Rapid-Antigen Test on the other hand detects viral proteins (known as antigens) and is best done when there is more virus circulating in the community and is sampled from an individual during the time they are most infectious. It’s an ideal test that can be carried out routinely as it is much cheaper than the RT-PCR and results are available within minutes. Using a Rapid-Antigen Test Kit (ATK) samples are collected from the nose and throat with a swab and mixed with a solution that releases specific viral proteins. That liquid is then applied to a paper strip that contains antibodies to bind the viral proteins if present. Similar to a typical drugstore pregnancy test, the result is shown as a band on the strip. A positive test result will be indicated with 2 lines, 1 under C and 1 under T. An invalid result will only have a line under T, whereas a negative test result will only have a line under C. Separately to the Rapid-Antigen Test (ATK) we can also offer a thorough laboratory analysis of Antigen Test. In that case, your swab sample will be taken to the lab to test for viral proteins instead of using the rapid test kit, which takes slightly longer. 

The final category of test is the Antibody Test. The blood test detects whether your body has produced any antibodies to fight against the virus. It’s usually given to a person who detected with COVID-19 three to four weeks before to demonstrate their immunity. The test can be done via two methods. The Pin-Prick blood test will simply give a negative/positive test result for antibody detection, whereas the Serology Blood Test, gives a quantitative test result that can give more details as to the number of antibodies present.

MedConsult Clinic also offers a home and work visit service for all kinds of testing. We have assisted many hotels, restaurants, factories and offices with group testing. The nurses and staff are trained well to accommodate to all your needs and help monitor your health during this tough time. For more information visit www.medconsultasia.com or call 02 018 7855. “

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