When a person goes in for COVID-19 testing, the type of swab that is used is likely to be the last thing on their mind. According to COVID-19 testing expert John Berberian Atlanta GA, though, the type of swab that is used to collect a sample for COVID-19 testing can have a huge impact on both the accuracy of the test as well as how comfortable the process is for the patient being tested.
John Berberian Atlanta GA explains that there are two main types of swabs used by COVID-19 testing facilities. The first of these types is the traditional oropharyngeal swabs that have been around for almost a century. These swabs are quite simple in their design and look like elongated Q-tips. According to John Berberian Atlanta GA, however, oropharyngeal swabs are not the best choice when it comes to testing for COVID-19.
The reason why the swabs we have used for decades to test for viral infections aren’t ideal for COVID-19 testing has to do with the fact that the virus responsible for causing COVID-19 often hides deep within a patient’s nasal passages – too deep, in some cases, for oropharyngeal swabs to reach. This means that oropharyngeal swabs can sometimes lead to false-negative results.
This brings us to the second type of swab used for COVID-19 testing: NPS swabs. NPS swabs are made of polypropylene and, according to John Berberian Atlanta GA, are the preferred choice for COVID-19 testing. NPS swabs are designed to reach further into the nasal passages than oropharyngeal swabs, allowing them to collect samples from the hard-to-reach areas where the virus likes to hide and limiting the potential for false-negative results.
Another key benefit of NPS swabs is the fact that they are more comfortable for the patient being tested. Getting tested for COVID-19 can often be a painful experience since healthcare providers are well aware of the fact that the virus buries itself deep in the nasal passages and are thus required to insert the swab to uncomfortable depths. NPS swabs, though, are designed to be thin, non-abrasive, and well-lubricated, allowing for deep penetration that is still as comfortable as possible.
Thanks to these substantial benefits, John Berberian Atlanta GA argues that NPS swabs should become the standard for COVID-19 testing. By producing results that are more accurate while at the same time reducing patient discomfort, NPS swabs can serve as a valuable tool in our fight against the COVID-19 virus.