What is the difference between PCR and RT PCR COVID test?

Time to read 3 min

If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID and need a test done immediately, then knowing the difference between RT PCR test and PCR test can be important. There is also rapid antigen test which can provide results in a much shorter timeframe as well.

Additionally, when trying to understand what is the difference between PCR and RT PCR COVID test it is important to know their benefits. While RT PCR is said to be a highly reliable method of checking for COVID, it is important to know the key meanings and differences.

You should also get a COVID test as soon as you are experiencing the symptoms. Delaying in getting checked can put yourself and your loved ones in danger, if you are carrying a viral load that can spread. It's vital to get tested on time especially when you are managing a chronic condition. 

What is the PCR test?

PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction and is a comprehensive test that is used to multiply several copies of a gene or a DNA stretch. It is helpful in making billions of copies of DNA and can be used for detecting the presence of viruses through denaturation, primer annealing and extension.

What is the RT PCR test?

RT PCR stands for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test, and is comprised of two distinct steps. First the reverse transcription process is performed, after which the amplification of the DNA sequence is execute using PCR. It can be used to detect RNA in a sample with higher precision.

The difference between PCR and RT PCR tests

The RT PCR test has the additional step of reverse transcription which makes it a different process of testing from a technical lab testing standpoint. The reverse transcription of RNA into DNA is performed, after which the amplification is done using PCR.

In the case of conventional PCR tests it shows a low-resolution amplification, while for RT PCR the high-resolution amplification methods for DNA detection are present. RT PCR test also cuts down the time to get the result, which is why it has become the gold standard of COVID testing worldwide.

You can also get your results delivered directly via email, generally within the same day that you provide the sample. You can place an order for an RTPCR test via MyDiagnostics and get clarity on whether you have the virus.

What are the main signs of COVID I should be careful of?

There are several symptoms of COVID that you should be careful of, while getting tested immediately. These symptoms may be present in real time and you can get an RT PCR and other tests to check for the presence of the virus. RT PCR is used to detect the presence of the virus in the event that your symptoms are connected to COVID.

Sore throat

A sore throat that has lasted for several days can be a critical sign that you may have COVID, especially if you have been exposed to someone who may have had the virus.

Running nose

A runny nose is another important sign, coupled with difficulty breathing and trouble with focusing. You should get a COVID test done immediately if you are experiencing the symptom.

Consistent fever

If you have had a strong fever for three days, and are bed bound, then you should definitely get the COVID test done. It is vital that you get detailed information about your COVID risk.

Chronic pain

If you are having headaches and strong muscle or joint pain for a few days, then you may need to get tested immediately as well. If you are also facing difficulty breathing, and are experiencing palpitations, then getting a COVID test is important.

 * Medical Disclaimer - The following information is for educational purposes only. No information provided on this website, including text, graphic, and images, are intended as substitutes for professional medical advice. Please consult with your doctor about specific medical advice pertaining to your condition(s).

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