Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Covid-19: How do the two types of test for the virus work?

A woman takes a swab test for the virus. Credit: ITV News Central

The government has been under fire for several days now about the rate of testing for Coronavirus, especially among front-line heath workers.

Currently there are two types of test available.

The first is a swab test, which is sent to a Public Health England laboratory for analysis.

However results can take 48 hours to come back, are only about 70% reliable.

This type of test will only indicate if a person has the disease right now.

A healthcare worker handles a swab test. Credit: ITV News Central

The second is is an antibody test - similar to pregnancy test kit.

It requires a drop of blood from a finger-prick and within 15 minutes or so lines will show on the test if a person is or has been infected with Covid-19, and their body has built up an immunity to it.

The antibody test requires a drop of blood. Credit: ITV News Central

Doctors say antibody tests are vital in the NHS front-line fight against the spread of the disease.

The antibody test is similar to pregnancy test kit. Credit: ITV News Central

Watch Andy Bevan's full report here.