COVID-19 test – Which is better swab or antibody test?

COVID-19 test

In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, aside from the physical distancing measures, one of the first actions put forth was to identify people who were infected with the virus by testing them for the disease. It is popularly known as the ‘Swab’ test, and used to determine if someone currently has COVID-19. The test has also proven to be useful in helping to control the spread of the virus, with the use of contact tracing.

COVID-19 antibody test

‘Antibody’ testing, that can detect antibodies in people who have already been exposed to COVID-19, was only approved by Health Canada in Mid-May. Testing is limited right now and only beginning to roll out, starting with Health Workers and staff in hospitals and long-term care facilities. However, there are still many unknowns and questions being asked about both methods. Which test is better in the fight against the pandemic?

The Molecular ‘Swab’ test is now being used in communities to identify the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (causing the COVID-19 disease). It starts with the person blowing their nose and then tilting their head back in order to allow the health-care worker easy access to the nasal passageways. A long flexible swab is then inserted quite deeply into the nostril to the sinuses in the upper part of the throat. In order for enough material to be collected, it is then rotated around for several seconds before being removed. Most results are provided within 24 to 48 hours. If one receives a negative result from the test, it is good news, leaving them feeling relieved. However, there is a concern brought up by many people on social media; as soon as they leave the site where they were tested, they are still vulnerable to contracting the virus. Not realizing it, could lead them to relaxing their protective measures, such as taking more chances with proper physical distancing and using a facemask.

Antibody testing, known as ‘serology testing’ is only used after someone is fully recovered from having the COVID-19 virus. A health-care worker takes a blood sample and it is then tested to determine whether they have developed any antibodies produced by the immune system against the virus. If the results show they have the antibodies, it means they were infected with the virus at one point. However, the WHO (World Health Organization) has warned that there is not enough evidence to know whether one is actually immune to being reinfected with the virus, the level of immunity or how long it lasts. Right now studies are still being done. It presents a conundrum and the question of which is better – a swab test or antibody test? Even then, there really is no foolproof answer.

Other articles from

COVID-19 Quebec vaccine schedule

Get your second COVID-19 vaccine sooner in Quebec

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles

myths about food supplements

The most common myths about food supplements and their effects

Living a healthy life is now easier than ever thanks to the abundance of healthy food and supplement options that you can buy. In fact, the vitamins you need in your daily life can often be found inside a capsule or tablet. It’s thanks to food supplements that more and more people have access  Food

Montreal Festivals

It’s going to be an explosive summer with Montreal festivals

High vaccination rates, plus the low number of COVID-19 cases, equals the return of summer fun in Montreal which looks to be filled with Montreal festivals. The return of many of Montreal’s favourite artistic summer festivals, along with the introduction of 29 new unique cultural projects — which will run for a period of at

Mesclun Salads

Mesclun Salads – New Salad bar in St Laurent

Mesclun Salads – Priscilla Ponce was born in Chile, moved to Canada and settled in the Montreal suburb of Ville St. Laurent, where she still lives with her husband and children. Throughout her life in Montreal, she has worked in retail, in a number of restaurants as a waitress, and as a real estate broker.

SHAN Collection from Montreal

SHAN Collection from Montreal

Montreal is no slouch when it comes to the world of fashion and SHAN is certainly at the top of the list with every piece of its collections fully conceptualized and manufactured in Laval (Qc) Canada. While the house employs locally, nearly 65% of its product is exported internationally, in over 33 countries. This success

Medical marijuana for treatment

Medical marijuana for treatment. How can it cure my pain?

Medical Marijuana is like a jack of all trades, strange it may sound. Alongside its notorious myths around that, it is a weapon for high effects, many people are aware of its potent therapeutic properties. Yet, like other medical treatments, marijuana may not be the first-line choice of prescription but an alternative when other modalities

flights to Hawaii

Airline offers Canadians the most flights to Hawaii this winter

WestJet today announced significant growth to its Hawaii network, featuring more Dreamliner flight options from Western Canada to Maui and new non-stop service from Calgary to Kona and Lihue this winter. With 57 weekly roundtrip flights on 10 nonstop routes, WestJet offers more service between Canada and Hawaii than any other airline.  “With easing travel

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox