Canada unveils first-of-its-kind COVID-19 ‘gargle, spit’ test

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Canadian health officials have announced a new coronavirus test that involves gargling and spitting, according to reports.

In the much less invasive test, the patient uses saline to “swirl, gargle, and spit,” the Guardian reported. This test is the first of its kind in the world and could provide a simpler way to test mass populations in an effort to get back to normal.

“Unlike the nasopharyngeal swab, this is a new saline gargle in which you put a bit of normal saline water in your mouth, swirl it around a bit – and spit it out into a little tube. And it’s an easier way for young people to collect it, ”Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s top doctor, told reporters.

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The Center for Disease Control in British Columbia has launched the new test, initially intended for children, but possibly also for use by adults. Henry said the government plans to roll out the test to all available sites, but does not require a medical professional to be administered, Global News reported.

“It’s an easier way to collect it for young people,” Henry said. “We want it to be available to everyone, but right now the focus is on children for the sake of supply.”

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The government believes the test will allow schools to safely return students to in-person attendance as soon as possible.

Easy tests are attractive, but the test itself may not be up to standard. Dr Mel Krajden, medical director of the BC Center for Disease Control, warned.

The saliva samples are inconsistent with other types of samples, according to the CBC.

“What we need to think about is what is the best mix of tests and how are they best delivered? Krajden said. “You want to have the right balance between convenience and sensitivity. ”

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In particular, the consistency of saliva varies, making it difficult to obtain high quality samples. Consistency is the key, according to Krajden.

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