What is the ‘gargle and spit’ COVID-19 test
As schools and educational institutions across the world slowly begin to reopen, a new non-invasive method of COVID-19 testing is being used in Canada for the safety of school-going kids. As the country is once again witnessing a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases, officials have roped in an innovative ‘gargle and spit’ COVID-19 test for the young children, instead of the regular invasive PCR nasal swab. Schools in British Columbia have already begun trying these new testing kits on their students from kindergarten to 12th grade. The initiative has been done to make the process of sample collection easier and fuss-free for young children
How does the ‘gargle and spit’ test work
To conduct the new test, children will be asked to gargle a small amount of saline solution by swishing it around their mouth for some time and then spitting it into a small tube. Kids need to gargle the saline solution for at least 30 seconds so that there are enough tissue samples to show signs of the novel coronavirus. According to the British Columbia Center for Disease Control, the gargle and spit test is as accurate as the PCR nasal swab method but more comfortable for the young children.
What are the precautions children should take before the test?
According to the officials, to make sure that the sample is valid, kids should ensure that they do not eat or drink anything before the sample is taken. They should also avoid brushing their teeth, using a mouthwash or chewing gum before gargling the saline solution. In case, any child is not able to do the gargle and spit test correctly or the sample seems to incorrect, he or she can take the nasal swab test.
The benefits of gargle and spit COVID-19 test
As the coronavirus cases continue to rise at an unprecedented rate, testing sites are beginning to get overwhelmed. Hence, the simplified spit test can help in reducing the burden from the testing facilities and help in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus as schools slowly begin to reopen. One of the biggest benefits of gargle and spit methods is that test can be conducted without a clinical expert or a health professional, owing to its simplified nature.