Differences between several COVID-19 tests available

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There are a few types of tests available that can determine if someone has COVID-19 or not.

Although the availability of each test will vary by location, knowing the differences between them may help you make a better decision.

According to health experts, the swab test is said to be the most accurate. A doctor swabs your nose and throat, and you get results back in a few days or about a week.

A rapid test is much faster, but doctors say it is not as reliable. It's done in the same way as a swab test, but results come back in less than an hour. It's important to note that if you get a negative result, some experts say that the result is less likely to be accurate.

A saliva test is done at home, and you simply spit into a tube. This is less commonly used, costs more and it's the newest type of test so doctors aren't sure how accurate it is yet. Results take a few days to a week.

An antibody test is a blood test that determines whether you've had the virus in the past. It doesn't tell you if you have it right now or if you will get it again.

If you are looking to get tested for COVID-19 for free, check out Houston Health Department's website or Harris County Public Health's website.
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