Warning For Using Throat Swabs For The COVID-19 Tests At Home

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : January 8, 2022

FDA is giving a serious warning to the US residents regarding the COVID-19 home test kits. Nowadays, most people avoid going to clinics to conduct COVID tests. Instead, they prefer to use the self-kits for undergoing the difficulties by themselves.

Warning For Using Throat Swabs For The COVID-19 Tests At Home

The rapid home antigen test kits come with a swab. The US Department for Food and Drug Administration warned that this swab is for nasal testing. Therefore, people must not apply the same for collecting samples from the throat.

Warning For Using Throat Swabs For The COVID-19 Tests At Home

Now, why is the organization required to give such a warning to the general public?

After the announcement that throat samples would be more effective for determining the presence of coronavirus in the body, a rapid change was noticed in the behavior of most people. They started using the swap present in the self-test kit to collect samples from the throat. However, it is not a correct method for testing purposes, as the swab is meant for nasal sample collection only.

People started showing different results worldwide and began posting them on social media. The trend of #SwabYourThroat started like a campaign on the internet expressing the wishes of the netizens to test the throat.

FDA gave special instructions after viewing the current trend. Unlike the UK, only nasal specimens are necessary for conducting self-tests in the US. However, only a few of the tests required testing the saliva. Hence, as per the FDA authorities, the users must follow the correct instructions while undergoing the tests. Every step must be according to the authorized way of sample testing.

The authorities told CNN that throat swabs are not a general way of using self-kits. Therefore, the users must only go for the nasal specimens while using these kits. They are not sure about the probable consequences of the throat sample testing through these swabs. It also added that only a trained professional could collect the test samples. It is also the recommendation from the CDC.

One of the chief medical officers of South Indiana, Dr. Volk, concluded that it is always better to follow the instructions given in the kit strictly. Any deviation will be subject to a lot of risks. The doctor also commented that people could conduct different experiments at home without restrictions. However, they are not valid for detecting the COVID-19 situation unless they are as per the instructions.

Dr. Graham Synder said that the test would not give any better results if you did not act as per the instructions. One can always think that he or she will be able to detect the presence of a virus by a certain method. However, there is no guarantee of such an experiment giving accurate results. Only a verified test, carried out strictly as per the written instructions, can provide you with a guaranteed report.

Yale School of Public Health’s famous epidemiologist stated that the throat swab is undoubtedly a more authentic way of detecting coronavirus. But still, no evidence is there whether that can be conducted at home with the help of a self-kit only. So, imagining things like that will not be practical on medical grounds. It is just a way of reducing the probable risks connected with false results.

Many a time, people fear that the self-kits will show false-negative reports. However, that is not a reasonable point to consider for approving a throat swab instead of the nasal bones. Volk stated that the kit manufacturers are paying attention to this matter. They will soon come up with an alternative plan for better sample testing. For effective results, you have to follow the stipulated way for the time being.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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