Thursday, April 15

What is a pediatric COVID-19 test?


To detect Covid-19 there are different types of tests. In the case of children, to know which is the most convenient, it is necessary to consult with the pediatrician. The recommendation is that the children are given a test that can consist of an antigen, molecular or antibody test, in case they have been exposed, show symptoms of the disease, have been in contact with infected people or if they have to undergo surgery.

The concern of many parents is knowing which test is indicated for their little ones. Therefore, it should be noted that there are several tests that can be applied to them. Of course, first you have to consult with the specialist to find out which is the most convenient. Next we will give you more detail so that you know what each one consists of

Child with mask
Even though at first it was said that children did not contract Covid-19, this statement has already been discarded. Photo: Pixabay

Antigen test

In the antigen testing uses a throat or nasal swab. Some of these tests are certified to give results almost immediately, taking between an hour or two. A positive antigen test is generally reliable and safe.

If negative, it is advisable to perform a polymerase chain reaction test, known as PCR. Thus, it is safer to know if a baby or child has Covid-19 or not.

What happens is that a negative antigen test is not as accurate and sometimes a different test is necessary to verify whether or not the little one has the disease.

Molecular test

Also known as Nucleic Acid Amplification Test. This test looks for parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the respiratory tract. To do this, a nasal or throat swab is used to collect samples. This test is commonly used to find out if a child has an active infection. It should be noted that this test does not verify that the child has had Covid previously. Results can be obtained the same day or a week later.

The polymerase chain reaction test, better known as the PCR, It is one of the most accurate, and it is the best to determine if a child has Covid-19.

Other types of molecular tests are: loop-measured isothermal amplification method, and of enzyme cleavage amplification reaction. These are new tests, and some have been cleared by the FDA for use, although they are not a substitute for PCR.

Antibody test

The antibody, or serological, consists of taking a blood sample from the child to detect if he has developed antibodies. This type of test helps to check if a person has been infected by Covid-19. The thing with these types of tests is that they are not very useful to identify if someone has the infection at the time of performing it.

This happens because it can take up to 3 weeks after the little one shows the first symptoms of the disease before the test can detect the antibodies in the blood.

Because there is still no vaccination plan for children, parents must take all precautionary measures to protect them since, unlike what was thought at the beginning of the pandemic, the disease also affects them.

It is necessary to continue with the precautionary measures: hand washing, use the mask and keep your distance. Going to the pediatrician is important, especially if it is suspected that there was contact with someone infected or the child begins to have symptoms.

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