With the news of the COVID-19 third wave expected to arrive anytime now, experts have warned that the mutated virus will impact children more than ever. Due to this, states are now gearing up to start testing in children as well. Testing in children can be a tricky task, but how effective is it?Also Read - How COVID-19 Complications Can Cause Kidney Damage, Doctor Explains
Dr. Shashi Bhushan, a Neonatologist and a pediatrician at Cloudnine Hospitals Malleswaram, Bengaluru answered frequently asked questions in interaction with News18. Dr said that a different approach is needed for kids as children are fearful of doctors and hospitals. So, it is important to think of a different method of testing for kids. Also Read - 4th Wave of COVID? Karnataka Govt to Tighten Rules Amid Rising Cases. Deets Inside
Available testing methods for kids
Dr. Bhushan said, “Oral RT-PCR, or Salivary RT-PCR, and Gargle RT-PCR are the most effective methods to collect samples from children. Nasal swab collection and Rapid Antigen Test are other forms that can also be used.” Also Read - Focus On Testing, Tracking, Treating: Centre Writes to States to Take Measures Amid Surge in COVID Cases
Difference between Nasal Swab and Nasopharyngeal Swab?
Dr. Bhushan further explained the difference between a nasal swab and a nasopharyngeal swab, the nasopharyngeal swab is long and thin material inserted deep into the nose through the nostril and pulled out, people experience slight discomfort. The nasal swab is just wiped at the beginning of the nostril, not going deep inside and the sample collected.
What is Gargle RT-PCR?
A gargling solution is given to a child and is asked to gargle and spit out the fluid. It can be used on kids above 7 years of age.
Are these tests effective?
All the tests are effective. “ICMR has approved gargle RT-PCR. The results from these tests are said to be as good as the others,” Dr. Bhushan informed.