No More Nasal Swabs For Kids! Dubai Approves COVID-19 Saliva Tests
As children find it very uncomfortable to get the nasal swab test and parents find it inconvenient for their kids to take the test, it’s a delight for everyone to hear the announcement that an alternative has arrived! The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced that COVID-19 saliva tests for children in the age group of 3-16 has been initiated across all DHA Facilities and DHA-run COVID-19 screening centers in Dubai!
The new tests, which are based on new research-based evidence, will eliminate the discomfort and encourage kids to be screened. The new test will cost AED150 and the test results come up in 24 hours! The research was headed by the Mohammad bin Rashid University (MBRU) jointly with the DHA, and it revealed the saliva test to have above 90 percent diagnostic accuracy.
The team took saliva and nasal swabs from 476 children who presented for COVID-19 screening at DHA screening facilities. The saliva specimens were collected in sterile containers, and at the same time, the children provided nasal swab specimens collected by trained health care professionals for comparison with the saliva results. The findings of the study showed that saliva could be used for viral detection with 87.7 percent sensitivity and 98.5 percent specificity. The positive and negative predictive values for the saliva test were 92.2 percent and 97.6 percent respectively.