saliva tests, the City’s new method to diagnose “close contacts”

saliva tests, the City's new method to diagnose

© Provided by Clarín
A health worker takes a sample for a COVID-19 test from a resident of the Kennedy neighborhood, one of the areas with the highest rate of positive cases in Bogota, on June 11, 2020. (Photo by Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP) hisopado

“Fine, but tired. Now we are with the tests con saliva, which seems to work well, “he told Clarion a Buenos Aires doctor fully devoted to the coronavirus. He inadvertently reported it, ignoring that he accidentally revealed what had not yet been disseminated from the Ministry of Health of the city of Buenos Aires: that since Monday they are undertaking a novel type of testing for the determination of those infected by Covid-19, just taking a little of the saliva from the patient’s mouth. The sample is much easier to collect and has a “88% equivalence with the results of a PCR. They told us about it Tuesday in a zoom. The idea is to detect contacts without them having to leave the house and, thus, closing circles ”, he explained.

In the consultation with the Buenos Aires ministry that Fernán Quirós leads, they confirmed the initiative and pointed out that “it is gradually applied”, at the same time that they assured that in the course of this Wednesday they would give more details to this medium.

For now it was possible to find out – based on the sayings of the referred hospital source – that “the tests are being used in the operations (Detect), on the street, by programmatic areas. Monday started on (hospital) Tornú and yesterday (by tuesday) he (hospital) Fernández and I don’t know if today (this Wednesday) one more was added ”. In as much, from the Buenosairean Health portfolio they confirmed that the saliva tests are not being used in the province of Buenos Aires.

The classic nasopharyngeal swab (PCR) to test for the presence of coronavirus. / AFP

The classic nasopharyngeal swab (PCR) to test for the presence of coronavirus. / AFP

What is the point of a test that is not 100% compatible with the traditional nasopharyngeal swab or PCR technique? The goal is supposedly “testing close contacts of confirmed patients, avoiding, in most cases, that they leave their home ”.

Of course, a PCR can also be performed at the patient’s home, but, pointed out this source, “it is not common”: the procedure is more complex and is usually done in health centers.

The other advantage of saliva testing is that “they are less annoying for the patient and easier in general, not to mention that the entire procedure is less risky for healthcare personnel”.

That last point is central, and alludes to two issues: on the one hand, as already mentioned, what in the near future could be a drop in the number of “suspicious cases” that hospitals walk on. On the other hand, due to the less exposure for the technicians involved, who today, doing the traditional swab, must practically “dig” insistently into the patient’s throat and nostrils.

“In these tests, the person collects saliva in the mouth and takes the sample with a swab,” explained the doctor, adding: “It is similar to a PCR; the result is in the day, too. It is a very good measure. “

nullWhile they know each other several similar international initiatives who are seeking to “improve” or “facilitate” the diagnosis of coronavirus, at the end of this note Clarion He had not been able to find out the origin of the reagents used in Capital. In other words, if they are imported or from a national industry, considering that some Argentine scientific groups also announced lines of research of this type in recent months.

For now, it seems like good news. Or at least this is how the qualified source who chatted with this media evaluated it: “The idea is, if they really are going as well as it seems, to take them to all the houses where there is a positive for coronavirus.”



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