As experts call for more rapid tests, how accurate are they and when should you use them? – CBC

Though not as accurate as PCR tests, rapid antigen tests could help mitigate outbreaks in places like schools

Oct 01, 2021

With the fourth wave raging in many parts of Canada, some groups have been trying to implement another tool in the fight against COVID-19: rapid testing.

Canada has yet to make rapid antigen tests widely and cheaply available.

Dr. Fatima Kakkar, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and doctor at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine in Montreal said rapid testing could play a bigger role in controlling the pandemic in Canada.

What’s the difference between PCR tests and rapid tests?
Kakkar, also an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Montreal, said polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which are considered the “gold standard” in testing for COVID-19, look at viral RNA.

“It’s able to pick up even traces of the virus,” Kakkar told Brian Goldman, host of White Coat, Black Art and The Dose.

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