A PCR is now required in order to fly any internationally
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How does a COVID-19 PCR test work?
There are three key steps to the COVID-19 PCR test: 1) sample collection, 2) extraction, and 3) PCR.
Sample collection is done using a swab to collect respiratory material found in your nose. A swab contains a soft tip on a long, flexible stick that is inserted into your nose. There are different types of nose swabs including nasal swabs that collect a sample immediately inside your nostrils and nasopharyngeal swabs that go further into the nasal cavity for collection. Either type of swab is sufficient for collecting material for the COVID-19 PCR test. After collection, the swab is sealed in a tube and then sent to a laboratory.
When a laboratory technologist receives the sample, they perform a process called extraction, which isolates genetic material from the sample including genetic material from any virus that may be present.
The PCR step then uses special chemicals and a PCR machine, called a thermal cycler, which cause a reaction to occur that makes millions of copies of a small portion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material. During this process, one of the chemicals produces a fluorescent light if SARS-CoV-2 is present in the sample. This fluorescent light is a “signal” that is detected by the PCR machine and special software is used to interpret the signal as a positive test result.
PCR tests are used to directly screen for the presence of viral RNA, which will be detectable in the body before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present. This means the tests can tell whether or not someone has the virus very early on in their illness.
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SL Concierge Nursing Services & Co., is a Mobile Company Pembroke Pines, FL, USA