The Topic Of this POST
- Coronavirus swab test: what it is and how it’s done
- How are the results of the swab analyzed?
- What happens if the first swab performed gives a positive result?
- Does testing positive for the coronavirus swab mean being sick?
- Who should swab?
As we have already discussed in recent days on the blog, the new coronavirus and the consequent COVID-19 disease have been defined by the World Health Organization as “a public medicare emergency of international importance”: the virus continues to spread quickly in different areas of the world, leading to situations of alert and maximum prevention.
To avoid the coronavirus panic it is certainly very important to be aware of everything we can do to slow down the infection, and always and only get informed through scientifically accredited sources: for this reason, today we want to continue the dissemination work done in this period talking about the diagnostic test necessary to ascertain the COVID-19 pathology or the throat swab.
We will do this thanks to the contents released by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.
CORONAVIRUS SWAB TEST: WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT’S DONE
The throat swab is a diagnostic test that involves taking biological material from the pharynx using a disposable swab – similar to a larger-sized cotton swab.
In practice, the healthcare staff in charge carries out this procedure:
- inserts the swab into the mouth
- if necessary, a tongue depressor is used to help the patient keep his mouth open
- makes gentle movements to take samples of biological material by rubbing the swab on the tonsils and pharynx
- send the swab to the laboratory, where the analyzes will be carried out.
It is a quick and painless procedure that, in the case of the new coronavirus, allows us to know if the patient has contracted the disease.
HOW ARE THE RESULTS OF THE SWAB ANALYZED?
The laboratory technicians proceed with the swab analysis to identify any portions of the genetic code of the new coronavirus: if the genetic code is identified, the swab is positive, if it is not detected, the result is negative.
This first phase takes from 4 to 6 hours: if the swab gives a positive result it must be repeated, have definitive confirmation of the infection.
It is very important to know that the diagnosis is performed only and exclusively in the regional reference diagnostic laboratories and that,
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE FIRST SWAB PERFORMED GIVES A POSITIVE RESULT?
As reported on the website, the swab completes this path :
- “When an exam gives a positive result, the sample is physically sent to the Institute.
- Once the sample is taken over, the RNA is extracted and, through a technique called PCR Real Time, the amount of the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome possibly present is amplified.
- The test takes 4-5 hours. For this reason, the technicians work on shifts that start at 6 in the morning and finish at 3 the next morning every day, guaranteeing around 200 exams a day.
- The result is communicated to the competent Italian and international authorities (Ecdc, WHO) “.
DOES TESTING POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS SWAB MEAN BEING SICK?
“Being tested positive for coronavirus does not mean being sick “, as stated also by the deputy minister for he, the Pierpaolo Sileri means that the virus came into contact with ouReal-Time may happen that the symptoms do not manifest themselves, or that they manifest themselves in an extremely mild way, or that – unfortunately – you get sick.
As we explored in another blog article, the symptoms related to COVID-19 are varied, and can manifest themselves in a contained way – with fever, fatigue, dry cough, general feeling of CDCise, nasal congestion, headache, and sore throat – or severe, leading to difficulty in breathing, acute bronchitis or pneumonia.
Precisely for this reason, the only way to be sure of your situation is to carry out the correct procedure, which involves, in the event of suspicious symptoms or upon reaching 37.5 ° of fever, to contact the emergency numbers – 112, 118 or the national number 1500, or regional toll -free numbers – and then follow the instructions that will be provided by qualified personnel.
We remind you that under no circumstances should you go to the emergency room or your doctor yourself.
The swab is also performed in case of hospitalization if the patient shows symptoms attributable to COVID-19.
WHO SHOULD SWAB?
To dispel any doubts, we can say that anyone who is identified by health professionals as a subject with symptoms at risk must carry out swab: as mentioned, it will be the staff in charge to carry out the test.