Throat and nasal swabs are one of the most widely used methods for detecting the presence of COVID in a person. Both rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests, which are currently in widespread use, involve healthcare professionals inserting a swab and gently pressing the inside of a person’s nostrils to collect as much nasal discharge as possible for testing. But why do some healthcare workers go the extra mile? Our nasal cavity is significantly larger than our nose, extending into the skull and draining into the back of our throat. Coronavirus particles inhaled can attach to various soft tissues in the nasal cavity or throat.

What Kind of Covid Test Should I Get? Answers on Cost, Accuracy and More -  WSJ

The goldmine is the nasopharynx, which is located in the upper part of the throat behind the nose and is used by healthcare professionals to determine whether or not a person has contracted the virus. The nasopharynx is located in the upper respiratory tract, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established guidelines for sampling mucosa from there. It specifies that only synthetic fiber swabs with thin plastic or wire shafts, rather than calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, should be used to collect the specimen. The first is a NAAT test, which determines whether the actual Covid virus genetic material exists. A nasal pharyngeal swab or pharyngeal swab would be taken for PCR testing. “Then they look for the virus’s genetic material,” she explained.”The second type of testing is when they try to identify one of the viral shells or envelope’s outer protesting. This is known as antigen testing. “The third type is to detect whether antibodies have developed within the human body,” she added.

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