What is Covid-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause
illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known
to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe
diseases. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the
nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.
These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people
then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their
eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets
from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it
is important to stay more than 2 metres (6 feet) away from a person who is sick.
What are the symptoms?
- A high temperature- this means you feel hot to the touch on your chest or back but you don't need to measure your temperature.
- A new,
continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3
or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be
worse than usual).
Who should test?
you suspect that you have been exposed to the coronavirus due to you having recently travelled to a
high-risk country, you think you may have
come into contact with someone who has Covid-19 or you
have symptoms then you can do the swab test between 1-5 days post exposure.
However, symptoms may not
appear for up to two weeks after you have become infected with the virus. This
means that it is possible to spread the virus without having any symptoms.
If you would like to know if you have had Covid-19 already then the blood test will confirm whether or not you have had it.
A blood sample should be undertaken 14 days or more following
exposure or onset of symptoms.
What is the swab test?
The test involves taking a single combined swab of your mouth and then your nose - as used by the NHS.
It is a PCR test that detects the genetic information of the
virus, the RNA. This is only possible if the virus is there and someone is
actively infected. By detecting viral RNA, which will be present in the body
before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present, the tests can
tell whether or not someone has the virus very early on.
We provide an instruction leaflet with your test that details how you should take the test.
This swab test is not to be confused with the Chinese Rapid Home Test that has proved to be unreliable and we do not recommend.
Where should I post my swab test?
What is the blood test?
The blood test looks for the presence of antibodies which can tell whether a person has
been previously infected.
You will need to produce a small blood sample using a sterile lancet that is enclosed within the test kit. The lancet pricks the side of your little finger and you massage a small amount of blood into the collection tube. Full instructions are supplied with the kit.
How accurate are the tests?
The assays used at TDL show a minimum sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 100%, with no cross-reactivity with other viruses.
The test is performed by The Doctors Laboratory, who provide quality UK accredited pathology services worldwide. The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) is a medically-led laboratory, established in 1987. It is the largest independent provider of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK.
How soon will I receive my test?
If you order before 4pm Monday to Friday then you will receive your test kit the next working day by our courier DPD. You will receive an allocated 1 hour delivery slot from DPD on the morning of delivery.
If you order on a Friday before 4pm then you can upgrade to a Saturday delivery for only £2.
How and when do I get my results?
You will normally receive your blood test results within 24 hours and the swab test results within 48 hours of the lab receiving your test sample. However, do to huge demand waiting times are much longer.
You can opt for a choice from 3 types of communication.
1) Open email
2) Email notification where you simply receive an email informing you that you have a message from Webmed. Then you log into our website with your email and secure password to receive your test results in your message centre
3) SMS notification where you receive a text informing you that you have a message from Webmed and then you log into your message centre for your results.
What if my swab test is positive?
If you test positive
You must immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days to prevent
spreading the virus to others
You should then use the online coronavirus 111 service here https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
or contact the NHS on 111 who will
advise you on the next steps to take.
Will I have immunity if my blood test is positive?
Most patients who recover from coronavirus have been found to
produce antibodies, but it is not yet known if an individual with a positive
result showing presence of IgG levels following being infected with SARS-CoV-2
will be protected, either fully or partially from future infection, or for how
long protective immunity may last.
What are the limitations of the swab test?
As with all viral PCR assays, patients with very low viral loads
are less likely to be detected. 'Not detected' results do not preclude
infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and should not be the sole basis of a
patient treatment/management or public health decision. Where there is a strong
clinical suspicion of an early COVID-19 infection repeat sampling should be
considered 24-48 hours later.