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Are rapid tests throat or nose? How to use rapid test?

Many people are confused about how to get the best sample for rapid COVID antigen testing – whether to use the throat or nose. At the beginning of the disease outbreak, public health authorities recommended that specimens be taken from far into the nasal canal (nasopharyngeal), the back of the throat (oral-pharyngeal), and sputum for each test. Later, this changed to simply requiring a nasopharyngeal test. Then, samples were taken from the mid-turbinate, which is not as deep as the nasopharyngeal test, became more popular.

For rapid antigen tests, nasal swabs work effectively. The tests were authorized based on research indicating that nasal swab samples are effective for detecting SARS-CoV-2 symptoms, and producers of self-test rapid antigen tests emphasize that their kits are intended and most accurate for testing nasal samples.

swab inserted into buffer

The talks on the use of throat swabs stem from the evolving knowledge of how Omicron travels through the human body when it infects someone and where it prefers to settle in and build up its virus-copying hub. SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus that spreads through the nose and mouth by virus-containing droplets that can move through the air and spread from person to person.

Omicron likes the nose and throat, according to research. Previous strains of the virus concentrated on the lungs, penetrating into tissues there, multiplying, and possibly causing significant and life-threatening respiratory difficulties (In fact, a sore throat is one of Omicron's most common symptoms.) Early research suggests that the virus may originate in the throat and travel to the nasal cavity. This means it is possible that throat swabs can produce positive results in infected persons even earlier than nasal swabs.

Many people have been trying out throat swabs because of what they have read about saliva studies. However, throat swabs are not authorized for self-testing in most parts of the world. It is also considered risky to put a stick near the throat.

nasal swab

Nasal swabs remain the widely approved method of sample collection for rapid testing. The sensitivity of nasal swabs is similar to that of PCR in picking up the virus. Hence, they should be a reliable method to test for COVID-19. A positive rapid test shows that the person has COVID-19, but a PCR test should be performed to confirm the result. A negative test should be confirmed by a follow-up rapid test in 24 to 48 hours.

MyZone test kits are Health Canada-authorized and use nasal swabs. They have proven effective for rapid antigen testing and are highly sensitive in detecting Omicron, according to Boson Biotech. This makes it a dependable and cheap solution for persons with Omicron symptoms or for routine testing. Order a test kit today and have it delivered to your home the next day, anywhere in Canada.