Nasal And Oral Both Swabs Recommended For More Accurate Detection Of Covid Virus, Experts Opine

| Updated: January 8, 2022 12:58 pm

As the world is still learning about COVID-19, the new scientific evidences and approaches to deal with the pandemic are being discussed in the learned circles around the world.

In the latest discussion revolving around the efficacity of rapid antigen test. Anecdotal evidence gathered reveals that people who tested negative after taking the Nosal swab were tested positive after taking the test to swab their throats. The rapid tests are designed and authorized as nasal swab devices only. The over-the-counter test kits are not yet officially tested or approved for throat swabbing.

Doctors are of the opinion that swabbing both your nose and your throat will actually increase the sensitivity of the tests and therefore improve the chances that they will detect the virus.

Dr. Andrew Noymer

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security and an infectious disease expert has said testing of throat is helpful in case of other viruses like influenza, rhinovirus and various adenoviruses also. He added that some viruses replicate more in the throat than the nose and since being anatomically contiguous, and both nasal and throat symptoms.

Dr Amesh Adalja

Andrew Noymer, renowned epidemiologist with the University of California, Irvine opines that respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2 can infect every parts of our respiratory tract which includes nose, throat, mouth, windpipe and lungs. While

The nose and throat are closely connected parts of the upper respiratory system but there can be some differences in the amount of virus in the nose and the throat. With respect to omicron variant,
some scientists think throat swabs may be more useful for detecting it as the variant replicates more efficiently in the upper respiratory tract. A study from South Africa found that PCR nasal swabs were successful in detection of all delta cases but could detect only 86% of omicron cases, whereas saliva swab ( throat) could detect all omicron cases.

Dr. Purvi Parikh

Another expert Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network believes many people don’t swab their noses correctly for the result to appear accurately. She says one needs to swab deep enough in the sinuses as many viruses and bacteria drip down from the nose to the throat and also shoot up from the lungs to the throat from coughing.

Parikh clearly recommends : Swab your throat in addition to your nose, not in place of it. She tells not to eat, drink or use antiseptic mouthwash for 30 to 60 minutes prior to swabbing the throat. Naturally, the further back in the throat one can reach, the more sensitive the test will be.

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