Most children in British Columbia can say goodbye to those icky swabs and uncomfortable Covid-19 tests as the Canadian province launches a new gargle method for students ages 4 to 19.
“It is one of the first of its kind around the world,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, at a press conference Thursday.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says the new test is just as accurate as tests using a nasal swab and is much easier to administer for children.
The announcement comes at a time when testing is in high demand: Canada has seen a doubling of new daily cases in the last month. And while experts are still looking into the role children play in Covid-19 transmission, a recent report suggests they can — and do — spread the virus, even when they have mild or no symptoms.
“This is a new saline gargle where you put a little bit of normal saline, so sterile water, in your mouth and you swish it around a little bit and you spit it into a little tube and that’s an easier way to collect it for young people,” said Dr. Henry.
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