What is a lateral flow test?

Do you really know?

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What is a lateral flow test?

Do you really know?

What is a lateral flow test? Thanks for asking!

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the UK continues to drop as its vaccination campaign advances. The economy is beginning to reopen with lockdown measures gradually easing.

But it’s not all roses unfortunately. The South African variant of concern, which may be vaccine-resistant to some extent, has arrived in the country. The government is now expanding its testing programme to provide everyone in England with the opportunity to take two free lateral flow tests per week.

These tests can be carried out under supervision at designated sites, or at home. The aim is to quickly detect people who have Covid-19 without displaying any symptoms. Believe it or not, that occurs around a third of the time when someone is infected with Covid-19.

Despite being cheap and rapid, the system is not without its risks. People are sometimes forced to self-isolate unnecessarily when false positives occur and the accuracy of testing data is still unclear. 

If I want to do a lateral flow test, do I just go to the pharmacy and ask for a kit like with a pregnancy test?

You can do that if you wish, and the technology behind lateral flow tests has actually been compared to that used for pregnancy tests!

But there are several other ways of obtaining the tests, and you can do so without even leaving the comfort of your home. You can order them online or by phone, or get tests from your employer, if you’re not working from home.

Lateral flow tests, or LFTs for short, contain antibodies which detect coronavirus proteins by binding to them. If administering the test yourself, you’ll need to take a swab from your throat or nose and mix it with an extraction fluid.

Like a pregnancy test, you drip the solution onto a strip of test paper. Within 30 minutes you should have a result which will be either positive, negative or inconclusive. It’s recommended to take a lateral flow test twice a week and report the results on the same day.

 

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What is a lateral flow test? Thanks for asking!

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the UK continues to drop as its vaccination campaign advances. The economy is beginning to reopen with lockdown measures gradually easing.

But it’s not all roses unfortunately. The South African variant of concern, which may be vaccine-resistant to some extent, has arrived in the country. The government is now expanding its testing programme to provide everyone in England with the opportunity to take two free lateral flow tests per week.

These tests can be carried out under supervision at designated sites, or at home. The aim is to quickly detect people who have Covid-19 without displaying any symptoms. Believe it or not, that occurs around a third of the time when someone is infected with Covid-19.

Despite being cheap and rapid, the system is not without its risks. People are sometimes forced to self-isolate unnecessarily when false positives occur and the accuracy of testing data is still unclear. 

If I want to do a lateral flow test, do I just go to the pharmacy and ask for a kit like with a pregnancy test?

You can do that if you wish, and the technology behind lateral flow tests has actually been compared to that used for pregnancy tests!

But there are several other ways of obtaining the tests, and you can do so without even leaving the comfort of your home. You can order them online or by phone, or get tests from your employer, if you’re not working from home.

Lateral flow tests, or LFTs for short, contain antibodies which detect coronavirus proteins by binding to them. If administering the test yourself, you’ll need to take a swab from your throat or nose and mix it with an extraction fluid.

Like a pregnancy test, you drip the solution onto a strip of test paper. Within 30 minutes you should have a result which will be either positive, negative or inconclusive. It’s recommended to take a lateral flow test twice a week and report the results on the same day.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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