Thursday, October 21

Summer vacation: travel safely by taking the Covid-19 test required by each plan :: Prensa Ibérica


Both for those who plan to travel to the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands, as if the plan is to cross borders, it must be clear that in many destinations a negative test is required as an essential requirement. Even if we stay in the Peninsula where the test is not mandatory, it is recommended to travel with the highest security guarantees. Which of the different types of tests is recommended in each case?

This summer we want to enjoy the holidays as we always have: packing our bags and returning to our favorite resting place (to the town, to the beach house …) or embarking on the adventure of discovering new places. What is different this year is that, among the various preparations, we have to have one more: to know what the entry requirements of the different destinations are. Many of them demand Covid-19 testing negative.

It is mandatory, for example, to present a negative PCR to step on French territory and also if we want to get to Portugal by plane. Other countries (Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway…) request PCR or negative antigen tests.

We will also need to prove that we are free of coronavirus to access our dream holidays in the Balearic and Canary Islands, as long as we cannot prove that we are vaccinated. And in the rest of the Spanish territory, although we can move freely without conditions, it is worth taking the proper precautions to live with family or friends with the peace of mind of knowing that we are not infected and we are not going to spread the virus. Whatever our vacation plan, we review below the different tests that currently exist to find out which is the most appropriate based on our needs.

PCR

It is the reference technique for the diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the early stages of the disease since “it is a very sensitive system, being able to detect very low amounts of virus”, explains Juan Pedro Portell, director of the Health Area Labor of Chiron prevention, a company for the prevention of occupational risks of the Quirónsalud group that during the pandemic has carried out more than a million tests both in companies and in the general population. However, this expert points out, it does not by itself differentiate the stage of the disease in which the patient may find himself: beginning, acute phase or recovery phase. Thus, “if a negative result is obtained from a patient with a high suspicion of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it must be confirmed with a new test.”

*For whom? For all unvaccinated people who want to visit the islands or practically any of the European countries.

PCR in Saliva

This test consists of the amplification of RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from a saliva sample. According to the specialist of Chiron prevention, is a test of “high sensitivity and of choice for the diagnosis of active infection”.

The great advantage of this test is the convenience of the extraction, which means that it can even be done at home and without the need for an invasive extraction. “The kit contains all the elements and instructions for carrying out the extraction and subsequent shipment to the laboratory,” says Portell.

*For whom? By eliminating swabs from the equation, this non-invasive test is especially suitable for children and the elderly. Of course, before performing it, a series of measures must be taken, such as not eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking during the 30 minutes prior to taking the sample and, preferably, doing it first thing in the morning, without having applied makeup, cream or lipstick.

Rapid Antigen Test

The main advantage of this test is the speed with which the result is obtained, which allows greater agility in decision-making both individually and as a group. It is performed through a nasopharyngeal sample and is capable of diagnosing the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the start of infection and with the same reliability as PCR, with the advantage that results can be obtained in 15 minutes.

*For whom? By eliminating swabs from the equation, this non-invasive test is especially suitable for children and the elderly. Of course, before performing it, a series of measures must be taken, such as not eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking during the 30 minutes prior to taking the sample and, preferably, doing it first thing in the morning, without having applied makeup, cream or lipstick.

Rapid Antigen Test

The main advantage of this test, says Portell, is “the speed with which the result is obtained, which allows greater agility in decision-making both individually and as a group.” It is performed through a nasopharyngeal sample and is capable of diagnosing the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the start of infection and with the same reliability as PCR, with the advantage that results can be obtained in 15 minutes.

*For whom? Some countries accept this test to access their territory. “You have to know that it is recommended for patients with symptoms, since thanks to its rapid results it allows isolation measures to be taken early”, he points out. It has a sensitivity of 100% if the sample is taken up to the third day after infection.

Post-exposure serology to SARS-CoV-2 virus

People who have already had the disease tend to think that they have developed immunity, but this is not always the case. In fact, according to this expert, “it is possible to have overcome Covid-19 without having developed antibodies.” A small percentage of patients (around 2-5%) do not develop them, probably having eliminated the virus through a cellular immune response.

“To be sure, the quantitative post-exposure serology test to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) is available, it is based on the detection of specific antibodies in those people who have overcome the infection (symptomatically or asymptomatically) by the virus or you have the certainty or suspicion of having been exposed to said virus ”, he explains. It is carried out through a conventional blood extraction and allows detecting antibodies from 12-15 days after infection, although it has been shown that in a low percentage of the population no antibodies are generated after exposure. The result will be available within 24-48 hours.

*For whom? For those people who, although they are not going to travel to destinations that require specific tests, want to have the peace of mind of being protected. Regardless of the result, it is necessary to take extreme measures of hygiene and prevention of contagion (mask and hand hygiene).

Post vaccination serology

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 induce the production of specific antibodies against protein S of the virus. Protein S (“spike”) is a transmembrane protein that assembles into trimers to form the characteristic spikes on the surface of coronaviruses (the binding mechanism of the virus and the human cell).

Approximately three weeks after the last dose of the vaccine, the effectiveness of the vaccine can be detected by performing this quantitative antibody test. However, the percentage of people who after vaccination develop antibodies against COVID-19 depends on the effectiveness of each vaccine.

*For whom? For those who want to make sure that the corresponding vaccine guidelines in each case have generated antibodies against the virus. This test detects the neutralizing antibodies of all types of vaccines that you are currently administering.


www.informacion.es

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *