Are Saliva-based COVID-19 Tests Better More Effective Than Nasal And Oropharyngeal Swabs?

Are Saliva-based COVID-19 Tests Better More Effective Than Nasal And Oropharyngeal Swabs?

Feb 01, 2021

Many of us are quite familiar with the nasal and oral swab covid test having done a number ourselves. The idea of poking around in one’s nose or mouth never really feels comfortable. If you already know about it, saliva-based COVID-19 testing in Houston is a more comfortable and easier-to-perform method. However, many questions pop up immediately. What is the saliva covid test accuracy? How about the saliva covid test result time? Can I get same-day results covid evaluation in Houston at an emergency room near me? Let’s answer these questions. Note that you can get tested at the Ascent ER in Houston.

The saliva-based COVID test works similarly to the nasal and oral swab tests. The only thing different here is the sample used for testing. The method is the quantitative reverse transcription PCR that identifies the virus RNA in the sample tested. With saliva, testing is modified but similar to nasal swabs. It has been observed that the manner of collection of the saliva matters in the final results. A study found out that saliva obtained directly from the salivary glands was not as effective as coughed-out saliva. Researchers believe that using spit saliva is more effective because it comes with cells in the mouth and respiratory secretions that shed the virus. However, some say that spitting generates aerosols and this can affect accuracy. Instead, it’s better to let saliva pool at the back of the mouth for some minutes. After this, the patient allows it to drip down into the container provided.

It has also been discovered that overnight fasting before the test increases the accuracy. Subjects are also advised to rinse their mouth with water only, not with disinfectant mouthwash. Before testing, people should avoid drinking water for 10 minutes or eating food for 30 minutes before the test. The amount of saliva needed is less than a quarter of a teaspoon.

How Accurate Are Saliva-Based COVID-19 Tests?

No single testing method is 100% accurate. The saliva-based tests areas as reliable as nasal swab tests. Some say the saliva-based tests may even be more reliable. Furthermore, researchers have tried to identify possible interference from different sources. They found out that many substances we use do not affect accuracy. These include decongestant nasal sprays, steroid nasal sprays, sore throat lozenges, blood, toothpaste, and mouthwash. However, food may affect. Smoking dries the mouth and can interfere with accuracy.

Nasal Swab Testing Or Saliva Testing- Which Is More Effective?

Although nasal swabs remain a popular choice for testing, saliva testing is known to perform at the same levels. A collation of 16 studies involving 5900 participants shows that saliva-based testing detected positive COVID infections 83% of the time. Nasal swabs detected them 85% of the time. The same study also revealed that saliva testing shows 99% accuracy in detecting negative cases.

What Are The Chances Of False Results From A Covid-19 Saliva Test?

Negative results do not confirm the absence of COVID-19. This goes for nasal swab testing or saliva-based testing. The clinical assessment, patient history, and disease statistics are also considered. It is advised that patients test 5-7 days after exposure, even if they are already experiencing symptoms. Results from many studies are very promising. A publication from the University of Utah shows a high positive percentage agreement (94%) and negative percentage agreement (98%) between COVID-19 saliva and nasal swab testing.

How Long Do Results Take?

Saliva samples allow us to confirm infection in a matter of hours. However, logistics is an issue. Transport from the site of sample collection to the testing laboratory will affect the time taken to get results.

Where Can I Get Tested Using Saliva-Based Samples?

The FDA granted emergency use authorization for people to collect saliva or nasal swab specimens in their homes in November 2020. You can conduct your test at home and get results within a matter of 30 minutes. Arrange a virtual session with your healthcare provider to ascertain if home testing is right for you. You can get same day results covid evaluation in Houston at the Ascent ER in Houston.

Are you looking for an emergency room in Houston, TX? At Ascent Emergency Room, we care about your health and their emergency needs. We are located just a little away from you and provide exceptional and comprehensive emergency care appointments for the surrounding Houston area:

  • (Southampton) University Place
  • Rice Village
  • Bellaire
  • Old Braeswood
  • Gridiron
  • Brookhaven
  • Southside
  • Riverside Terrace
  • Greater Third Ward
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