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    New rapid coronavirus tests in pharmacies: things patients in Spain need to be aware of

    Madrid- Spain now sells antibody rapid tests in pharmacies that patients can perform independently. The first one, which is already available in some pharmacies, costs 25.50 euros, according to the Ministry of Health. But how do you get such a test and in what cases is it useful to check whether you have antibodies to the coronavirus in your blood?

    The rapid tests for coronavirus available in Spain are antibody tests, which means they are only reliable if the immune system is already fighting Covid-19. Patients who actively show symptoms and who have probably just become infected with Sars-CoV-2 will get a negative result, even though they are infected. Therefore, if the result is negative, the test must be repeated urgently after three to five days or a PCR test must be performed. A PCR test is also ordered in case of a positive test result. A patient whose tests are negative twice is considered not to be infected.

    How should the antibody test be carried out?
    The antibody test for coronavirus is a kit consisting of a needle and a plastic test strip that looks similar to a pregnancy test. With the needle, the patient can take a blood sample – a small stab is enough. The needle is then pierced into the test strip and the dot is marked. The result of the blood sample is available after 15 to 20 minutes.

    In order to keep track of the number of coronavirus tests and the number of possible infections, patients in Spain must present a prescription. This can be obtained either during an online consultation with the Spanish family doctor or in the emergency room. The video consultation can only be used by patients who have health insurance in Spain, i.e. have a SIP card and have been assigned to a general practitioner.

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