COVID-19 screening

Full testing for COVID-19 is available at Dr. Rose Private Hospital.

Direct detection of the virus and thus determination of infectivity:

  • PCR test giving results within 24-48 hours 
  • Antigen Rapid Test for immediate results

Antibody detection:

  • Antibody serology from venous blood, which within a few days quantifies with high sensitivity the IgG antibody levels and therefore the degree of protection developed.
  • IgM/IgG Antibody Rapid Test, which gives an immediate result and shows an ongoing or past infection

Combinations of these tests can be used to determine pre-existing infection, infectivity, or pre-existing disease more reliably, even in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients. To ensure the complete safety of the clients who turn to us, the Dr. Rose Private Hospital screening is carried out in the completely separate Screening Center on Vigyázó Ferenc utca, Budapest 1051. Pre-registration appointments only, payment by credit card.

About COVID-19 examinations 

Tests for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its mutations determine with great certainty whether someone is infected with the virus or not. In the first asymptomatic days after infection, the presence of the virus cannot be detected by currently available methods. Only later, usually from the second to the fourth day, or up to 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms, can the presence of the accumulated virus be directly identified by the PCR test, which detects the genetic material of the virus from nose or throat secretions or sputum, the appearance of which also indicates infectivity. The appropriate sampling technique is very important for the detection of emerging viruses: it is best to sample in the morning on an empty stomach, or at least after a minimum of 4-5 hours without eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum, brushing teeth or even using a mouthwash. Proper sampling - from precisely the right place, depth, and for the appropriate length of time - is ensured by our highly trained, experienced staff.

The Antigen (Ag) Rapid Test, which detects the protein antigen of the coronavirus, shows almost the same sensitivity as the PCR test in case og symptoms. Unlike the PCR test, the new Antigen (Ag) Rapid Test can determine within 15 minutes whether the virus is present and thus infecting someone. Sampling is done from the nasal cavity, so you are not required to arrive on an empty stomach.

The new Antigen (Ag) Rapid Test reliably detects larger amounts of virus in the case of complaints. A positive result is sufficient to confirm a COVID-19 infection (hence confirmatory PCR testing is unnecessary) and the requirement for quarantine, or the negative result required for the termination of quarantine after the illness, according to the latest NNK procedure. Smaller amounts of virus are not always indicated - e.g. asymptomatic or mild complaints - therefore a PCR test is advised in cases of reasonable suspicion.

After the onset of symptoms and following the direct detection of the virus, antibodies appear in the blood during the immune system’s response to the infection:

  • first, after the onset of symptoms by around 3-5 days, IgM-type antibodies are formed during the early active infection.
  • next, from days 5-6, the formation of more durable IgG-type antibodies begins
  • finally, lasting protection is ensured by the IgG antibodies’ long-term survival.

Based on the above, the antibody tests (serologies) are not suitable for very early detection of the disease, but following initial infection, from approximately days 7-8 they provide evidence of ongoing infection.

Alongside the complex processes taking place in the body, the level of the coronavirus also changes, and the tests also have their own sensitivity and possibility for error, hence it is worth consulting a specialist and combining several types of tests as follows:

Antigen Rapid Test + PCR: for mild, onset or fading symptoms when the coronavirus is at a low level in the body, in the case of a negative Antigen Rapid Test result, the PCR test may confirm a COVID infection, especially if there is a reasonable suspicion (e.g. close contact, typical complaints).

Antigen Rapid Test + Antibody Rapid Test: giving immediate results, these two Rapid Tests confirm each other, showing whether an adequate immune response to COVID-19 infection has been initiated.

PCR + Antibody Rapid Test: the great advantage of the Antibody Rapid Test is that it gives an immediate result, detecting the disease even 4-5 days from the onset of symptoms so you can see the risk of infection immediately, even before the PCR result arrives. This allows you to plan, e.g. meeting a family member at greater risk, continuing work, or to find out whether self-isolation or quarantine is necessary.

PCR + IgM and IgG Antibody Serology: the IgM and IgG Antibody Serology tests detect specific antibodies from venous blood. With high accuracy this can be used to determine the stage of the COVID disease in a symptomatic or asymptomatic infection, and whether an adequate immune response has been triggered by the coronavirus infection. The nasopharyngeal discharge sample test detects ongoing infection through the fluctuating amounts of virus in a sample, with no disturbing cross-reactions.

IgG antibody (spike/spike protein specific) serology: strongly recommended blood test to demonstrate that adequate protection has been achieved after COVID-19 vaccination (minimum 10-14 days, even more unequivocal after the 2nd vaccination). It also shows if a person has had asymptomatic COVID-19, even if they have not been vaccinated. In this case, the blood test is recommended at least 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms. 

Important! The level of this specific IgG antibody is not clearly related to the degree of protection! Infection can occur even with high antibody levels because protection against new virus mutations is not as effective as against the original virus - but it is more likely to protect against severe disease. 

Who do we recommend COVID-19 testing for?

For our clients who, for example

  • would like to know if they are currently infected asymptomatically - so that by following quarantine rules they will not infect others;
  • they returned from abroad and would replace any mandatory official quarantine with a COVID-19 test (screening can start the day after the return home);  
  • they are considered to be contact persons, i.e., they may have been in contact with a person infected with or suspected of having COVID-19 and are asymptomatic; 
  • patients with mild symptoms such as fever to a maximum of 38°C, a mild cough or respiratory symptoms, sore throat, loss of taste;
  • anyone who would like to know if they have already been infected, even asymptomatically – to form our protection and adequate immune system response;

We also recommend community screening (workplace, family) in the interests of protecting one another.

With symptoms typical of COVID-19 infection (fever above 38°C, severe cough, shortness of breath), the procedure defined by the NNK must be followed: stay at home and inform your doctor by telephone for them to arrange the next steps, including home testing.

About the tests

The test is performed, with the strictest precautions, only by appointment, at the Private Hospital building in a newly designed, fully segregated Screening Center to prevent infectious patients from entering the Dr. Rose Private Hospital building and to minimize waiting times and the use of common areas. For added safety, patients can wait separately in the waiting room and will be provided with their own pen and mask. To further reduce contact, pre-registration is important and tests can only be paid for by credit card.