What is the difference between an antigen test and a PCR test?
What is an Antigen test?
An antigen test is a rapid covid-19 test determining if someone is currently infected with the COVID virus. The FDA approved antigen testing for emergency use in May 2020. The test works by using a sample from the upper respiratory tract (taken with a swab) and adds the sample to a solution that unleashes specific viral proteins. After applying the mixture to a paper strip, you will see if the COVID virus is present. The results are comparable to a pregnancy test (one notification line indicates the test is – negative, two notification lines indicate the test is – positive). While antigen tests are more accessible and faster (results are typically within15 – 30 minutes), they are not as accurate as a PRC test. They are shown only to be 73% accurate. However, an antigen test does lower the chance of spreading the disease.
When an antigen test is positive (meaning they have a high viral load), the individual will need to have a PCR COVID-19 test to determine if the results are accurate.
Although an antigen test is not as accurate as other tests, it can be helpful in certain situations.
What is an antibody/serology test?
When someone becomes infected with a disease, their body produces antibodies to provide the body with protection and immunity against another possible infection. Antibodies can be found in the blood of people who have been infected by a virus or those who have been vaccinated to determine if they have immunity (The immunity may be long term or short term, depending on the virus). Antibodies usually start developing between 1-3 weeks after being infected or vaccinated and indicate if an individual is immune to a virus.
The main difference between an antigen test and a serology test is that an antigen test tests if you currently have COVID. In contrast, a serology test determines whether you have immunity to COVID through vaccination or recovered from COVID.
EMA Care can provide people entering Israel with referrals to local labs for serology testing. We can also provide a concierge serological test at your home or hotel. This service includes assistance tracking MOH submission and obtaining quarantine exemption (exemptions are dependent on serology results).
For more information on this service – click here!
Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!
My experience with Ema Care has been so positive that I wanted to share it in case it could help someone else. Eight days ago my daughter, a Shanah Bet student, called to say she wasn’t feeling well and had symptoms of Covid-19. I was put in touch with an Infectious Disease specialist who recommended Ema Care. I reached Dr. Eliana Aaron easily and signed my daughter up. The next morning, Ema Care gave my daughter a telehealth exam and provided her with prescriptions, as well as a list of...
I would like to also add my compliments, you exceeded my already very high expectations. You can certainly send other schools our way for a recommendation.
-Mr. E. Naiman
Dear Dr. Eliana words simply cannot express how much you have done for all of us and so many others in keeping us informed, calming anxieties, and being such a wonderful and patient resource through such a difficult time. Wishing you much bracha and hatzlacha in the merit of all the countless mitzvot u have done to help so many through these trying times; mikol halev, ein milim and thanks so so much .
Gap Year Program Staff
Hello Dr. Aaron. I cannot thank you enough for providing not only crucial information but a framework that gave us stability and allowed us to function (instead of descending into chaos, which undoubtedly would have happened, if not for you). At the risk of waxing dramatic, I will tell you that when I think of what you've done these past couple of months, what comes to mind is Rav Yohanan Ben Zakai asking Vespasian to give him Yavneh ve-Hakhameha, thus saving the entire enterprise of Talmud...