Will we be able to say goodbye to the swab when we go for a screening test in the future? Thanks to gargling, it could be. On Wednesday, in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, a hundred people experimented with this method of sampling.
This method involves gargling with 5 milliliters of spring water in the mouth for five seconds, five seconds in the throat, repeat, then spit into a container. The sample can then be analyzed in the laboratory, a method as effective as the old one.
“What we are going to look for with the swab is a sample from the nasopharynx, between the nose and the back of the throat, so with a good gargle, we will seek a sufficient collection of the virus”, explained pharmacist Diane Lamarre.
In addition to being faster to execute, this sampling method is painless, to the delight of citizens.
Note that for children under 6 years old and people with a cognitive problem, it is not recommended to use this type of sample.
A method in probation
Although it is done in several other regions such as Chaudière-Appalaches and Montreal, this test is currently on probation in the region.
“We took 100 people today who have done both the nasopharyngeal and gargling test, then we will analyze both to be sure that our results corroborate”, specified the clinical and administrative director of medical biology at the Integrated University Center of health and social services (CIUSSS) of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Normand Brassard.
The samples will be analyzed in the coming hours and a decision should be rendered within a few days as to whether the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean clinics will be able to offer the gargle test.
There is no need for health training to take the test to the patient, another advantage for the resource-poor region.
“It could help relocate nurses who are currently dedicated to screening. This will allow them to return to patients, ”added Diane Lamarre.
Only one brief training will need to be completed by the employee to be able to deliver the test to the patient. However, there will still need to be healthcare staff in the clinics to serve people who cannot gargle adequately.