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What Are PCR Test Uses Besides Covid Testing?

Although PCR tests have become known as a result of the pandemic, this testing method has been well-established for a variety of illnesses for decades. What are some other PCR test uses? Can you get tested for more than one illness at once? Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding how PCR tests work

PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction, a method that detects the genetic material of infectious diseases. It takes the DNA or RNA harvested from a sample and copies it multiple times – a process called amplification.

Amplification allows even a very small amount of viral cells or bacteria to be easier to see, meaning PCR tests can detect illness at the earliest stages of infection.

What illnesses can PCR tests detect?

PCR tests uses cover a variety of viruses, including but not limited to:

  • Covid-19
  • Strains of influenza
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

PCR tests use nasal swabs, throat swabs, or saliva collection (spitting into a tube) to collect samples for testing. RT-PCR tests typically require lab processing, with a turnaround time of 24-72 hours for results. Rapid PCR tests can deliver results in 15-45 minutes.

Cepheid 4-Plex – test for multiple viruses at once

Those trying to plan for the holidays and keep vulnerable loved ones safe from illness may feel overwhelmed at the idea of having to get multiple tests. And multiple tests are impractical for those experiencing symptoms that are common across several illnesses. That’s why the Cepheid 4-plex test was developed.

The Cepheid 4-plex test combines four PCR test uses into one, testing for Covid-19, Influenza Strain A, Influenza Strain B, and RSV. This test is a rapid test that does not require lab processing, and produces results in 30 minutes. Currently, the Cepheid 4-plex is only available from healthcare providers.

When should I take the Cepheid 4-plex?

There are a number of scenarios that the Cepheid 4-plex is ideal for, including:

  • Identifying or ruling out the four viruses mentioned above after experiencing flu-like symptoms
  • In anticipation of being in close contact with a newborn or someone who is at high risk of severe symptoms for any of these illnesses
  • To determine if someone who has recovered from Covid-19 but has developed flu-like symptoms is reinfected, or if they have another virus

Drip Hydration Can Bring Covid-19 Testing To You

Let Drip Hydration help take the stress out of PCR testing so you can focus on what’s important this holiday season. You can make an appointment for one of our Registered Nurses to come to your home and administer any of our Covid tests.

If you’re wanting to cover all your bases this holiday season, the Cepheid 4-plex test combines four PCR uses into one in select locations. Our expert will remain onsite to process results and give advice in the event you test positive for Covid-19, flu strains A or B, or RSV.

Busy families can skip the need for multiple appointments and take advantage of our progressive group discounts, so the whole household can get tested at once. Drip Hydration offers Covid-safety that is convenient and practical – call or click the button below to make an appointment today!