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Rapid Antigen Tests Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about rapid antigen test kits in Australia? No worries, mate! We've got you covered. Our website features a comprehensive FAQ section where you can find answers to all of your burning questions about rapid antigen tests. Wondering how accurate they are? Want to know if they're suitable for home use? We've got the answers! But if you still can't find what you're looking for, don't be shy! Give us a holler via email at or call us at 1300 783 113 and we would be happy to assist!

What are the type of swabs the antigen test kits that Aussie Pharma Direct have?

The Sonictec and Fanttest RATs all use nasal swabs.

What is a rapid antigen test?

A rapid antigen test is a diagnostic test that detects the presence of specific viral proteins, or antigens, in a person's sample, typically collected from a nasal or throat swab. Primarily employed for the detection of COVID-19, rapid antigen tests are also utilised for identifying other infectious diseases. It's common to find antigen test kits that specifically target either COVID-19 or Influenza A/B, as these two diseases often share similar symptoms. These tests offer a quick and effective means of diagnosis, aiding in timely and accurate healthcare decisions.

Can rapid antigen test detect flu?

Yes, certain rapid antigen tests can be designed to detect influenza in addition to COVID-19. The Fanttest 3-in-1 combination test kit and Sonictec Influenza A/B & COVID-19 Combo Rapid Test are two examples of such tests (available at Aussie Pharma Direct). This type of COVID and flu test kit is designed to detect antigens associated with COVID-19, influenza A, and influenza B in a single test.

What is a combination test kit?

A combination test kit typically refers to a test that can detect multiple viruses or pathogens, including but not limited to COVID-19. These tests are designed to simultaneously detect different respiratory viruses, such as Influenza A/B and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, in a single assay. By offering the capability to detect multiple viruses, combination test kits can provide a comprehensive diagnostic solution. They can be particularly valuable during flu seasons or when there is a need to differentiate between respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms.

How do I conduct a rapid antigen test?

Preparation for procedure

1. Gently blow your nose into a tissue to remove excess mucus.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser before handling the package. Unpack the test components. DO NOT DISCARD the box until you have made sure that you have all components required. DO NOT USE if they are expired or damage.

Sample Collection

1. Open the sealed pouch containing the test cassette and remove it.

2. Place the test cassette on a clean and flat surface. DO NOT TOUCH the test window.

3. Place the extraction tube on a secure place to avoid spilling of buffer (use the hole on the box or tube stand if provided with your kit). Unscrew the blue cap. Keep the cap aside, DO NOT DISCARD.

4. Open the sealed pouch containing the swab and hold it by the handle.

5. Gently insert the swab into the nostril, parallel to the palate, until resistance is met (about 2 cm or until you feel slight resistance).

6. Rotate the swab around the inside of the nostril at least 5 times for a total of 15 seconds. Remove the swab then repeat the process with the other nostril.

7. Place the swab into the extraction tube. Squeeze the lower part of the tube against the swab tip inside the tube 15 times.

8. Squeeze the sides of the extraction tube to release the solution and transfer it to the sample well of the test cassette.

9. Start timer and read results at 15 minutes. Wait for the colored lines to appear on the test cassette, indicating the test result.

10. After reading the result, place all the used components in the plastic bag provided and dispose into a general waste bin.

How accurate are rapid antigen tests?

Rapid antigen tests are generally considered to be less accurate than PCR tests, but their accuracy depends on various factors such as the time from infection, viral load, and the quality of the test kit. At Aussie Pharma Direct, we distribute Fanttest and Sonictec rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 and Influenza A/B testing. The rapid antigen test accuracy are as below:

Fanttest Influenza A/B Tests:

For COVID-19

The test offers 92.5% sensitivity and 98.33% specificity for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

For Influenza A

The test offers 89.12% sensitivity and 98.33% specificity for the COVID-19/Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kit.

For Influenza B

The test offers 89.86% sensitivity and 98.18% specificity for the COVID-19/Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kit.


For COVID-19

The test offers 94.44% sensitivity and 99.9% specificity (for COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2). 

For Influenza A/B

The test offers 93.33% sensitivity and 99.9% specificity (for Influenza A&B).

What is the difference between PCR test and rapid antigen test?

The main difference between PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests and rapid antigen tests is the method used to detect the virus.

PCR tests detect the presence of viral RNA, which is the genetic material of the virus. The test involves amplifying and detecting viral RNA using a laboratory-based technique, which can take several hours to days to produce results.

On the other hand, rapid antigen tests detect the presence of viral antigens, which are proteins on the surface of the virus. Rapid antigen tests are designed to provide results quickly, typically within 15 minutes, and can be performed at the point of care, such as in a doctor's office, a pharmacy, or at home. However, rapid antigen tests may not be as sensitive as PCR tests and may produce false-negative results, particularly if the viral load is low.

How long do the results take to show?

To interpret the results, read results at 15 minutes. Results should not be read after 20 minutes. 

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, it is important to take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

1. Isolate yourself: Stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible.

2. Notify close contacts: Inform anyone you have been in close contact with recently that you have tested positive for COVID-19. This will allow them to take necessary precautions and seek testing if needed.

3. Monitor your symptoms: Keep track of any symptoms you may experience and seek medical attention if they worsen or if you have trouble breathing.

Are rapid antigen tests accepted in Australia?

Yes, rapid antigen tests are accepted in Australia and have been approved for use at home by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for detecting SARS-CoV-2 virus in individuals who are suspected of COVID-19. However, it's important to note that not all rapid antigen tests have been approved by the TGA, and only tests that have met the required standards for accuracy and reliability are authorised for use in Australia.

For more information, visit the TGA website.

Are these rapid antigen tests TGA approved? 

Yes, our RATs are all TGA approved.

Sonictec COVID-19 / Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kit ARTG #336146

Fanttest COVID-19 / Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kit (China-made) ARTG 395590

How do I dispose of my test?

It is important to dispose of your rapid antigen test kit properly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. After using the test, place all used items in the biohazard bag that is usually provided together with the kit. Make sure to seal the bag properly to reduce the risk of contamination. In most cases, you can dispose of medical waste in the regular trash, but be sure to check with your local health department or waste management agency to confirm.

What do my results mean if I'm doing COVID-19 testing?


Only one coloured line appears in the control region. Only one purple line only next to “C” indicates negative


Two coloured lines appear in control region and test region. One purple line next to “C” and one purple line next to “T” Indicates COVID-19 positive. **The colour intensity in the test region “T” may be faint. Any pink/purple line visible next to “T” is positive. Anyone who tests positive should refer to your local State or Territory Health Department for guidance on confirmation testing if necessary. If you are unwell, seek medical assistance.


No coloured line appears in the control region. No purple line next to “C” indicates invalid

Will rapid antigen test be positive after recovery?

If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that a rapid antigen test may yield a negative result, as the concentration of viral proteins may decrease over time. However, it's crucial to be aware that testing results may not always align perfectly with the presence or absence of symptoms. Even if you recently had COVID-19, you should consider testing again if you experience new symptoms consistent with the infection.

Conversely, it's worth noting that in some cases, individuals may receive a positive COVID-19 test result even though they no longer have an active infection.

How do I store the rapid antigen tests?

It is recommended for the rapid antigen tests to be stored in a cool, dry place between 2 - 30°C.

Do rapid antigen tests expire?

Yes, rapid antigen tests can have expiration dates. To determine the expiration date for rapid antigen tests purchased from Aussie Pharma Direct, it is crucial to check the information provided by the manufacturer on the packaging or in the product description on the product pages.

Why is my COVID-19 test invalid?

Several factors can contribute to your COVID-19 test being deemed invalid. Here are some common reasons:

  1. Improper Sample Collection: If the sample is not collected correctly, it can lead to an invalid result. Please follow the test kit's instructions precisely for accurate results.
  2. Expired Test Kit: Using an expired test kit can result in invalid results. Always check the expiration date on the packaging before conducting the test.
  3. Incorrect Storage: Storing the test kit improperly, such as exposure to extreme temperatures or humidity, can affect the integrity of the testing components and render the test invalid.
  4. Test Kit Damage: If the test kit is damaged or compromised, it may not function correctly, leading to unreliable results.
  5. Testing Too Early or Too Late: Conducting the test outside the recommended timeframe from symptom onset or potential exposure can impact its accuracy. Follow the guidelines provided with the test kit.
  6. Equipment Malfunction: In some cases, issues with the testing equipment or device can lead to invalid results. Ensure that the testing equipment is in good condition and operates correctly.

If you receive an invalid result, it's advisable to consult with healthcare professionals or the test provider for guidance on the next steps, which may include repeating the test with a new kit or seeking a different testing method.

Will other diseases affect the result of the Fanttest COVID-19/Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kit?

No cross reactivity has been observed on testing by following commonly found Respiratory syncytial virus Type A, Respiratory syncytial virus Type B, Seasonalinfluenza A H1N1 virus, Influenza A H3N2 virus, Influenza A H5N1 virus, Influenza B Yamagata, Influenza B Victoria, Rhinovirus A2, Rhinovirus B52, Adenovirus 1, Adenovirus 2, Adenovirus 3, Adenovirus 4, Adenovirus 5, Adenovirus 7, Adenovirus55, Human coronavirus 229E, Human coronavirus Oc43, Staphylococcus aureus, Human coronavirus NL63, Human coronavirus HKU1, Parainfluenza virus 1, Parainfluenza virus 2, Parainfluenza virus 3, Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcuspneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, MERS, HumanMetapneumovirus A2, Coxsackie virus CA16e, Coxsackie virus B5, Coxsackie virusA24, Enterovirus EV70, Candida albicans.

However, a false result due to presence of these organisms at a level higher than tested cannot be ruled out.

Can other substances interfere with the test from the Fanttest COVID-19/Influenza A&B test kit?

Results showed that the COVID-19/Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kit was not interfered with by the following substances: Mucin, Human blood (EDTA anticoagulated), Alphainterferon, Zanamivir, Ribavirin, Oseltamivir phosphate, Peramivir, Lopinavir, Ritonavir,Arbidol, Levofloxacin, Azithromycin, Ceftriaxone, Meropenem, Tobramycin, Histaminehydrochloride, Phenylephrine Hydrochloride, Oxymetazoline hydrochloride spray,physiological seawater nasal spray, Beclomethasone dipropionate nasal aerosol, Hexadecadrol, Flunisolide, Triamcinolone acetonide nasal spray, Budesonide nasalspray, Mometasone furoate nasal spray, Fluticasone propionate nasal spray.

Can the test from the Fanttest Antigen Test Kit detect various variants of COVID-19 ?

Yes, the following SARS-CoV-2 variants can be detected with the COVID-19 (SARSCoV-2) Antigen Test Kit : Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron.

Do I need a prescription to take a rapid antigen test?

No, in Australia, you do not need a prescription to take a rapid antigen test.

Will the nasal swab hurt?

The swab should not cause severe pain as it is not sharp. The sensation experienced during a nasal swab can vary from person to person. Some individuals may feel slight discomfort or tickling, while others may experience a brief sensation of pressure. If you feel pain, please stop the test and seek advice from a healthcare provider.

I have a nosebleed after swabbing my nose. What should I do?

In the unlikely event your nose starts bleeding, apply pressure to your nose until the bleeding stops and consult a healthcare professional. Do not insert the swab again.

Can I use components from different rapid antigen test kits with the others?

No, it is not recommended to mix or interchange components from different rapid antigen test kits. Each test kit is specifically designed and validated as a complete system, including the specific components and reagents provided. Mixing components from different kits can compromise the accuracy and reliability of the test results. It is important to use the components provided in a single test kit as instructed by the manufacturer to ensure accurate and valid results.

Can I use a rapid antigen test to determine if I can attend an event or travel?

In some cases, rapid antigen tests may be used to determine if an individual can attend an event or travel. However, it's important to note that the requirements and regulations for COVID-19 testing vary depending on the country or state, and the type of event or travel.

It's important to check with the event or travel organisers, as well as the relevant authorities, to determine the specific testing requirements and regulations.

Which strains of influenza does the test from Fanttest Antigen Test Kit covers?

They test for Influenza A and Influenza B

Are the RATs on Aussie Pharma Direct made in Australia?

The COVID-19/Influenza A&B Antigen Test Kits and COVID-19 test kit from Fanttest and Sonictec are currently not manufactured in Australia. Due to popular demand from our customers, we have been able to source Fanttest and Sonictec which are made in China. These tests are ARTG listed and meet strict Australian standards.

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Test for Covid 19, Influenza A & B with our reliable and accurate test kits.

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