Is Nose Swabbing Truly the Best Way to Detect COVID?

What is often perceived as one of the quickest and most convenient ways of confirming a COVID infection may not actually prove to be the most accurate, or even the best option.

Nasal swabs are undoubtedly capable of detecting infection, but it has been shown that a saliva-based test might actually offer quicker and more efficient detection.

Using a self-collection system for the saliva-based testing option is very straightforward, so it is not a problem to get tested for COVID using this method.

Let’s look at whether nose swabbing really is the best way to detect COVID and run through what’s involved and how effective a saliva-based test is.

Why testing for COVID using your nose might be a problem

A fundamental point to raise about using a nasal testing kit to check if you have an infection is the fact that the virus first establishes itself in your body within your mouth and throat.

This raises an obvious question about the efficacy of using a nasal testing kit because it is testing an area that may not directly reveal infection in the first instance.

If you used a saliva-based test, for instance, you would likely have a much better prospect of identifying the presence of COVID at the earliest possible stage of infection.

It has been demonstrated that using a test that focuses on your mouth and throat area can hasten detection of the virus. Using a saliva-based test, you can often discover that you have COVID days earlier than if you use a nasal swab option.

Oral specimens offer testing advantages

There is no universal agreement about which testing option is the most efficient or the most accurate.

However, even the scientists who have expressed certain reservations about using saliva to test for the virus do accept that oral specimens do offer distinct advantages compared to nasal testing.

Comfort and accuracy

Let’s be honest about testing for COVID, nobody really enjoys the experience that much, but it is also fair to say that being able to spit into a tube is a lot less bothersome and far more comfortable than pushing a swab up your nostril further than you really want to.

As well as being less intrusive, saliva testing has quickly been shown to perform well as a testing option.

The fact that it has been shown that the virus has a tendency to appear in your saliva before manifesting itself in your nasal passage is an added bonus.

You can benefit from accurate and early detection of the virus using a saliva-based test and not have to endure the same level of discomfort that so many of us experience when using a nasal testing kit.

COVID may well show up in your saliva up to a couple of days before it shows up in your nose. On that basis, you have to seriously wonder whether nasal swabbing is the best option, especially when you look at how easy it is to carry out a saliva test instead.

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