Coronavirus: Alberta returns to ‘gold standard’ nasal pharyngeal swabs as global supply rebounds

Alberta is switching back to nasal pharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 testing now that the global supply has been restored.

A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services calls the slightly uncomfortable, deep-up-the-nose method “the gold standard for testing for respiratory… [illnesses] like COVID-19.”

Read more: Coronavirus: How rapid testing kits could lead to more targeted screenings

During the height of the pandemic, there was a global shortage of the nasal pharyngeal swabs, Kerry Williamson explained.

So Alberta Precision Laboratories sourced throat swabs to make sure the province could keep up with the demand for testing.

Read more: Alberta expands testing to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms

Story continues below advertisement

“Early on in the pandemic, Alberta Precision Laboratories validated and confirmed that a throat sample collected on the appropriate swabs is effective at detecting the virus,” Williamson explained.

The nasal pharyngeal swabs, which collect a sample deeper than a traditional nasal swab, continued to be used in Alberta throughout the pandemic in certain clinical settings, such as transplant, oncology and critical care units.

Read more: Edmontonians flock to drop-in COVID-19 testing centre

But now that the global supply is stabilizing, Williamson said the lab is returning to nasal pharyngeal swabs, “the gold standard for patient collection and testing of respiratory viruses.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Alberta labs will use different types of swabs as required, he added, to make sure inventory remains stable.

Story continues below advertisement

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Read The Full Article At Global News. This content is provided by Global News at public RSS feed. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.