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Gargle lavage may be an alternative for Covid 19 test

New Delhi: According to a study published by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed that gargle lavage may be used as a viable alternative for the swabs for detecting Covid -19 (SARC -CoV2).

The highlights of the study are adopting gargle lavage as sample will enable easy self collection and avoid a need for trained medical health care worker to collect the sample for the Covid-19 test hence, leads to substantial cost saving.

Gargle lavage may be an alternative for Covid 19 test - The Wall Post
Pic Credit: Brenden McDermid ( Reuters)

An alternative sample collection method that could overcome most of these limitations without compromising the yield of the test is the need of the hour. One such method is the collection of gargle lavage. Although the use of gargle specimens is not new, at present, there is little published information on the suitability of gargle specimens to diagnose SARS- CoV-2 infection”.  Study stated.

The study ‘Gargle lavage as a viable alternative to swab for detection of SARS-CoV-2’ is authored by Dr Naveet Wig, Dr Manish Soneja, Dr Neeraj Nischal, and Dr Ankit Mittal from the department of Medicine at AIIMS, Dr Anjan Trikha and Dr Kapil Dev Soni from the department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at AIIMS among others.

They conducted a cross-sectional study at AIIMS Delhi, on 50 patients from May to June and both sample of swabs and gargle were taken within 72 hours of their diagnosis. According to the research, all gargle samples were positive as comparing to their  swab samples taken irrespective of the symptoms and duration of illness.

To minimize the risk of transmission due to aerosols and to maximize the benefits of this method of collection, it would be best to employ it for home collection. Furthermore, it cannot be used in patients who are critically ill as well as in young children/patients who may not be able to follow instructions/perform gargle,” it said.

As per the study majority of the patients had moderate to severe discomfort with swab test, while rest had mild discomfort with gargle collection.

Inputs from NDTV