A swab test is the best way to identify coronavirus infections
Because the symptoms of covid-19 are similar to those of other diseases, testing is the only way to know for sure if someone is infected with the coronavirus. Mass testing is therefore crucial to halting its spread. In the UK, a home test will apparently go on sale very soon.
How do you test for coronavirus infections?
At present, most tests are based on looking for genetic sequences specific to the covid-19 coronavirus. If these sequences are found in a sample, it must contain the virus.
What does testing involve?
Getting a sample to test involves pushing a swab – which resembles an extra-long cotton bud – deep inside the nose or to the back of the throat. The swab is then sent off to a lab.