January 28, 2022

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Is a nasal sample sufficient to detect the Corona virus?

Is a nasal sample sufficient to detect the Corona virus?

(Reuters) – In Omicron alternative to corona virus It has made us more dependent on rapid antigen tests done at home to find out if we have COVID-19, but should we wipe our throat as well as our nose? For now, the orientation depends on where you live.

Some scholars said that The omicron can be transmitted when the throat and saliva are infected, before the virus reaches the noseSo scanning the gills early in the infection will not detect it.

A recent small study in the United States supported this idea. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on the saliva of 29 people with omicron detected the virus for an average of three days before nasal samples tested positive for antigen, or lateral flow calls.

In general, rapid tests have a lower sensitivity than laboratory PCR tests, which means that they produce more false negatives.

If the result is positive, it is almost certainly COVID-19, which makes antigen testing a powerful tool in dealing with the pandemic, at a time The demand for PCR testing due to omicron overwhelms the laboratories.

As a result of recent studies, some experts in the United States have advised users of antigen testing to clear their throats before wiping their noses.

All antigen tests licensed for emergency use by the FDA use nasal swabs, and the FDA has raised concerns about the safety of a throat swab at home, saying users should follow directions from the FDA and manufacturers.

in a IsraelA senior health official said that people who self-test for COVID-19 should clear the throat in addition to the nose, when using rapid antigen tests, even if this goes against the instructions from the manufacturer.

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Other countries like United kingdom They approved rapid antigen tests in which samples are taken from the throat and nose, or only from the nose.

in a GermanyThe health minister said he would study the reliability of rapid antigen tests to detect the omicron variant and would publish a list of the most accurate products.

(Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)

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