TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- According to local Tupelo medical experts, not all negative results mean that you are negative for the coronavirus.
"If it's positive, like a flu antigen, then you have the disease," said Dr. Jeremy Blanchard.
According to Dr. Blanchard at North Mississippi Medical Center, new research shows a negative rapid test result does not rule out the virus.
According to nurse practitioner Lindsay Weatherford at MedPlus, with rapid tests, you may have to test twice to be sure.
"You test negative, especially if it's very early on into your symptoms, I have you come back and do a retest," said Weatherford.
Both doctors said most patients prefer rapid testing because it hurts less and the results come quicker.
"That's the nose swab that's the rapid one. The other one is called a nasopharyngeal swab and that's the one that goes so far up it makes people cry," said Dr. Blanchard.
Also known as the PCR test, healthcare workers send them to a lab. It takes two to three days to get results.
Both dr. Blanchard and Weatherford said the results from the PCR test are more reliable and you only need to test once.
"Don't put yourself through double pain just go ahead and do the more painful one," said Weatherford.
But according to Dr. Blanchard, both tests could be misleading if you get tested too soon.
"We have to wait until about day five for it really to be an effective test," said Dr. Blanchard.
They also said for both tests, it is okay to test once but only if you are not showing symptoms.
Both doctors advise patients to quarantine while waiting for test results.
In the case of the PCR test, that could be a few days.
In the case of the rapid test, if you are showing symptoms, you should quarantine until you test negative twice.