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Taking COVID-19 tests is much more convenient these days. In fact, The U.S. Postal Service has delivered roughly 350 million at-home tests, says the American Hospital Association. We make major decisions based on the results of these tests – decisions like, whether or not to join that group for the weekend ski trip or whether or not to visit an elderly relative. These small at-home kits have a big responsibility. Unfortunately, an alarming number of them aren’t accurate.
Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, the co-founder of the World Health Network (WHN), shared an eye-opening photo on Twitter of several at-home tests he took, all while sick with COVID-19. The images revealed what many experts have been claiming for some time: a combination nose and throat swab is far more accurate than a nose-only or throat-only swab. The only test that detected the virus in Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding was the combined throat and nose swab. In fact, these tests detect over 20 percent more cases of COVID-19 that nose-only or throat-only swabs. As we move into a spike season for COVID-19 cases, it’s important that people understand the best practices for taking a COVID-19 self-test that includes both nose and throat swabs.
Prep For Your At-Home Test
Before beginning your test, clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to clean your wrists, palms, fingers and the tops of your hands as these might all interact with the swab.
You should also clean the surface where you’ll be setting your kit down to prevent any contamination. Because you’ll need to look inside your mouth when performing the mouth and throat swab, it’s important to choose a location in front of a mirror.
Don’t open the packet containing your swab until you are ready to perform the test. When you do open it, be sure to only grab the stick portion and do not touch the soft side.