Just when we thought we had overcome the COVID-19 and can now get back to normalcy, we are again facing a bigger challenge. Many had even started to go back to their fitness routine. Then came the Omicron variant. However, the only thing that medical practitioners see is an essential awareness regarding diagnosis. It is better than the people had when the COVID-19 wave swept the world in early 2020.

So, every doctor’s big question is how to tell the person has a COVID-19, an Omicron, or even a common cold and fever. As already said, people now are relying on tests.

Is Rapid Test Suitable for Detecting Omicron?

Long answer short, no. Many people will use swabs on their throats and in their noses. There is a lot of research happening in this niche right now. But it is true that among one such test, as per the report in Reuters, 29 Omicron-infected people had PCR and Antigen tests done simultaneously. The saliva tests showed the virus only after three days on average, and this was before the nose swabs also showed results.

Is this a Big Reveal?

Of course, it is. It means people might have to wait for at least three days to confirm before they even move around. They should not rely only on home tests. They may even be transmitting the virus unknowingly. So, they have to get the negative result in the rapid antigen test before moving around.

What causes the antigen tests to fail? The Antigen tests can detect the proteins on the surface of the virus. However, the mutations in the structure can alter the proteins, thereby not showing up in the detection of the Omicron variant.

Also, the Omicron can go for as many as 50 mutations, and the rapid antigen tests can only detect some of the more stable variants of the virus. It makes the Rapid tests lesser equipped to detect the Omicron.

The Need for More Tests

The FDA had asked for manufacturers of these Rapid Antigen tests to develop their products to detect Omicron. This is a necessity as the virus evolves with every passing day.

Some companies also claim that they have designed home testing products that can easily gauge the presence of Omicron. But their accuracy or effectiveness is still under scanner. In the UK, many people have received throat swab self-testing kits too. But this too has its pluses and minuses.

Anthony Tilghman

Anthony Tilghman, is an 2x Award-winning Photojournalist, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the...