Caution – self use of the covid-19 rapid antigen test

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Caution - self use of the covid-19 rapid antigen test
Caution - self use of the covid-19 rapid antigen test

Now that the Government has allowed regular people to buy the Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test, (the test kit), and use it themselves, we want to share a few simplified cautions in taking the test.

1) Due to its limitation, the test kit has lower sensitivity and specificity than the PCR test. 2) Conducting the Nasopharyngeal Swab by yourself – Don’t forget that the Nasopharyngeal Swab is a vital part of the test and this is not easy in practice, if you do it incorrectly or not deep enough, there is less chance to find the virus. In reality, people usually pull out the stick when they feel hurt.

So, people typically don’t put a stick up their nose deep enough. If the swab is not done appropriately, then the specimen quality may not be good enough to attain a correct result. Additionally, if you do the swap incorrectly, there are risks of damaging the meninges, causing the spinal fluid to leak, (CSF leaks), in the sinus.

3) The test kit must pass the standard and be certified by the Thai Food and Drug Administration, (FDA). If you get the test kit from other sources its efficiency cannot be guaranteed. Once you buy the test kit, you need to read its instructions and guideline thoroughly, understand it, and have everything ready before you start the test. Also one of the most concerning points is the disposal of the test kit once used because it is considered infectious waste.

Would you dispose it in a separate bag and tag it as infectious wastes? Where would you dispose of it? Who will take care of it after that?

This is of great concern for the administrators, as the trashmen just grab and throw the trash into their trucks, so we need to think about this thoroughly, otherwise, it may cause more infection. Taking the Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test by yourself is definitely not easy. You need to have the skill and courage to do the nose swab, be able to focus and finish the test while being extremely cautious on how to dispose of such infectious waste.

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