Saliva sample success rate for testing Corona 96.71% – Swab tests replaced

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 5: The Al-Sabah Hospital Director Dr Nayef Al-Harbi announced ‘saliva’ of a person is being used now to detect the COVID-19 virus infection instead of the ‘nasopharyngeal’ swab at the Al-Sabah Hospital and Al-Razi Orthopedic Hospital, after the approval of the Ministry of Health because of its effectiveness and effective results, reports Al-Rai daily.

Dr Al-Harbi said the application to use ‘saliva’ samples to detect the COVID virus has been in use since last September, after the scientific research made by the two Kuwaiti researchers Dr Fatima Al-Harish and Dr Haya Al- Tawaleh. The research papers were published in a prestigious international journal, the Journal of Clinical Virology, which proved the effectiveness of using saliva samples to detect the COVID virus instead of swabs.

This coincided with the issuance of a license by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use a saliva sample to diagnose COVID 19 infection.

Dr Al-Harbi indicated that saliva samples are used either in diagnosing cases or for routine screening of hospital admissions and pre-operative operations as well.

Dr Fatimah Al-Harish, the head of the COVID team at Al-Sabah Hospital and the Al-Razi Orthopedic Hospital, confirmed the participation in scientific research to use saliva samples instead of swabs, and said the application of the use of saliva samples in Al-Sabah and Al-Razi Orthopedic hospital has proven effective and achieved promising economic, technical and medical results.

She indicated that collecting saliva samples does not require trained doctors and therefore valuable personal protective equipment is not used and medical personnel are not exposed to the risk of infection. It can also be done away from testing centers, and it is also allowed for what she called difficult groups such as children.

She mentioned that all that is needed is for the person who is suspected of being infected with the virus or the patient before undergoing medical test or surgeries is collect saliva and send it for testing in the lab by himself without the help of medical staff.

For her part, the head of the Virus Laboratory Unit at the Yaqoub Behbehani Center who was part of the scientific research, Dr Haya Tawala, said the study has proved the success of the saliva sample for testing the RNA (ribonucleic acid) of the COVID virus by 96.71% As for children, the head of the Pediatrics Department at Al- Sabah Hospital, Dr Iman Al-Enezi, confirmed that the use of saliva samples in detecting the virus with children led to positive interaction of mothers and reduced the exposure of medical staff to the risks of transmitting infection, noting that children are among the groups that were given saliva tests because of the difficulty controlling them during the use of swabs.

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