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Saliva May Be Key to Quick Detection of COVID-19 in Asymptomatic Individuals


A mass testing approach using saliva samples to detect COVID-19 in people who are asymptomatic has been introduced by researchers in Japan. This approach is key to managing a possible second wave of COVID-19 as the weather changes and people spend more time indoors, and public support of lockdowns wanes.

Japanese researchers tested 2,000 subjects who did not have any COVIDd-19 symptoms with both nasopharyngeal swabs and saliva samples. Both tests were effective at detecting infection with the novel coronavirus. The nasopharyngeal swab test detected the infection in 77% to 93% of participants and the saliva test was effective in 83% to 97% of participants. Saliva testing offers significant advantages over the nasopharyngeal testing as it does not require close contact between patient and clinician and it is painless. Read more here.

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