What is more reliable to go home for Christmas?


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The Christmas are about to arrive and with it come many questions in times of coronavirus pandemic: Will families be able to get together with the least possible risk? The Government has already thought of a series of recommendations to deal with the autonomous communities, such as leaving the curfew –expanded–, limiting meetings of people between six and ten people (depending on the community) and avoiding unnecessary travel at all costs.

Many will have doubts as to whether or not they would do well to get together safely with the rest of their family members. The best way to avoid contagion between families is to carry out a coronavirus test, although the test is only an adjunct and does not need to be relied upon, so hygiene measures, mask use and distance, as well as ventilation, must prevail at all times, regardless of the test result that is made. Nowadays, there are three types of coronavirus tests. Which is better for traveling?

Which test is better?

Currently, there are three types of test to detect positivity in SARS-CoV-2. First of all the PCR, the best known because from the first moment it was used to detect cases of coronavirus; serological test, which detects antibodies; recent ones antigen test that launched the Madrid’s communityand that other communities are beginning to copy. All of them must be carried out by health personnel. These are the details of each one:

Test PCR: detect how the coronavirus infection is in the person who performs it. It is able to detect asymptomatic patients and those who are in the first days of infection. It is reliable and highly sensitive in detecting viral load. On the contrary, it is one of the most expensive tests, since in Spain the price of private clinics is around 100 euros. Also, if there is a delay in analyzing the results, the results may take two to three days.

Test antigens: It is one of the best options for traveling at Christmas, since the results can be obtained in about 20 minutes, which makes organizing the trip easy. It is a cheaper test with a similar reliability to the PCR, in addition to sharing the way to do it. It is a good test to quickly and effectively differentiate if you have Covid-19 or not, so it is a good option to rule out if you have symptoms compatible with the disease.

Serological test: it is one of the least useful tests when traveling. This test is performed through the blood to detect the level of antibodies that the body produces to protect against the coronavirus. It is a good option to know if the disease has passed and if it carries immunity, but it is not entirely effective if it is done in the early stages of the infection.

Saliva self-test: the tests that are on the way

The self-diagnostic test will be other tests that are massively in the population in the future. These serve to detect early infection of Covid-19 through saliva, which is where most of the antibodies are concentrated during the first days. Depending on the result, a PCR O antigens, in order to confirm if you are a carrier of the coronavirus. The Community of Madrid is studying their effectiveness and their use, in order to implement them in pharmacies.

ABC reported that saliva tests are 95% effective, as well as a sensitivity of 98%. The idea is that these tests are used to control in a general way how the virus progresses, due to its easy performance and the ability to detect the pathogen in the early stages.

The Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid is studying its use and also wants to complement it with technology, so that whoever is tested can notify the competent authorities, as is done in Germany.

In Spain it is being introduced little by little. The Valencian company Igenomix is ​​in charge of selling them at a price of 120 euros. When the test is performed, a company courier collects the sample for analysis. Results are obtained within one to two days.

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