The Coronavirus Ag Rapid Test Cassette (RAT) (Swab), sold here in packs of 5 tests, is an in vitro immunochromatographic assay for the qualitative detection of nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 nasal swab specimens directly from individuals who are suspected of SARS-CoV-2 by their healthcare provider within the first ten days of symptom onset, and asymptomatic individuals. It is intended to aid in the rapid diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Please note that PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and Key Cleaning lines, including this product, cannot be returned or orders cancelled.
For official information on the correct usage of these tests, visit the Ministry of Health website.
Continuing to grow and thrive in the middle of a pandemic is challenging for any business, but Kiwi companies now have another crucial tool in the fight against COVID-19. Rapid Antigen Tests are fast, painless and produce results in mere minutes, making them an incredibly useful screening solution for businesses that require regular staff testing.
While taking a PCR test is still the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19, a rapid antigen test kit can alert you to potential infection in a fraction of the time. These tests can be self-administered, although to ensure accurate results, it’s recommended that the test is performed under the supervision of a trained operator.
Please note: these FAQs are solely intended to provide a quick overview for those curious about rapid antigen testing. For official information, head to the Ministry of Health website.
How do rapid antigen tests work?
Rapid antigen testing gives you the chance to discover COVID-19 infection very early on, sometimes even before the appearance of symptoms. This is important, as even people who are asymptomatic are capable of carrying and transmitting the virus. A nasal swab or saliva sample is taken, then the sample is immersed in a specific chemical solution. Special care should be taken to follow all instructions, for the best chance of accurate results. The advantage of rapid antigen tests is that they quickly produce test results – this can help to slow transmission of COVID-19 and control outbreaks.
How long does a rapid antigen COVID-19 test usually take?
Once a nasal swab or saliva sample is taken for rapid antigen testing and subsequently placed in the provided chemical solution, it will usually take about 15 minutes to produce a result.
Are rapid antigen tests capable of detecting the COVID-19 Omicron variant?
According to an FDA announcement in December 2021, rapid antigen tests do detect the Omicron variant, though it’s possible that they have “reduced sensitivity”. This doesn’t detract from the fact that rapid antigen testing has a key part to play in our fight against COVID-19 and its more transmissible variants.
When is rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 most accurate?
Rapid antigen tests are designed to detect proteins that are found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19, and are at their most accurate when used on those who are symptomatic. They are not as good at detecting COVID-19 infection as a nucleic acid amplification test (in NZ, the most commonly used type of nucleic acid test is a PCR test), but rapid antigen tests are less invasive and return results much faster. These tests are best taken within 7 days of symptoms appearing.
Does an Omicron infection cause loss of smell or taste?
It’s much less likely to experience the loss of smell or taste when infected with Omicron compared to the Delta variant, but it is still possible. The UK Health Security Agency found that loss of taste or smell occurred in about 13% of Omicron cases, compared to 34% of those infected with Delta. Taking a rapid antigen test when symptomatic can help you get treated for an infection sooner than otherwise, and reduces the likelihood that you will unknowingly pass on COVID-19.