Vaccinated people should generally wait five days after exposure before taking an antigen test.
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Why are people testing positive and then negative on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test?
If your Rapid Antigen (RTK) test yesterday was negative, do you have to do another test today?
Why do some people test negative for saliva test, but positive for swab test?
Is it necessary to wait 3-5 days before testing for Covid-19?
These are some of the frequently asked questions during the pandemic.
How exactly can Covid-19 be detected accurately, what is the method and when is the best time to detect it?
Dr Erna Nadia and Dr Arisman Abdul Rahman share the following advice.
How Is Covid-19 Virus Detected?
Dr Erna pointed out that Covid-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-COV-2, from the Coronavirus group.
In order to measure the level of its seriousness, one needs to look at its viral load.
The higher the viral load, the higher the number of viruses in the body.
In other words, it means the level of infection is higher and the situation is more serious.
The highest viral load in the body is usually between 3-5 days after the virus has entered the body.
That is why most people will start experiencing symptoms during these 3-5 days.
It’s best to do a saliva or swab test 3-5 days after there are already symptoms, as the viral load in the body is high during that time.
She added that if someone went for a check-up after coming into close contact with positive individuals – even if there were no symptoms – the result could be negative.
Why? There are 3 reasons.
- The test was made too early
- Probably not infected
- Maybe the virus is yet to fully develop
So, When Should You Do An RTK Covid-19 Test?
When is the right time to do self testing or a nose/saliva test at home?
According to Dr. Arisman, the self-test should taken during:
- The first day that symptoms appear OR
- The third day of being symptomatic OR
- Third day as a close contact, whether symptomatic or not.
The Health Ministry (KKM) has also released guidelines on when you should take a PCR or a rapid antigen test.
Although KKM itself does not require asymptomatic close contact to do PCR testing, the ministry still calls on people to act on their own initiative.
Example Of Real Life Situation
Let’s say you know that one of your friend tested positive, and you just hung out with the friend 2 days ago, so what should you do next?
Please be patient.
If there are symptoms, wait 3 days before checking or if the symptoms are severe but not yet 3-5 days, it is better to go for PCR.
If there are no symptoms, wait for the 5th day to check.
If positive, do not panic. Update in MySejahtera and please quarantine yourself.
If the quarantine period is over, the PCR need not be taken again.
If there are still symptoms, just make sure you wear a mask to protect others and take good care of yourself.