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Children and Covid testing: what you need to know



Dr. Kristin Moffitt, an infectious disease specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, said that if you are still unsure whether your child needs an examination, please call their pediatrician. You can also use CDC’s clinical assessment tool, which can be used by any family member, including children.

Virus testing for children is in most cases the same as testing for adults. The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of two basic diagnostic test methods.The most sensitive is Molecular PCR test, It can detect the genetic material of the virus, and it may take several days to provide results (some locations can provide results within a day).Type 2 test Antigen test, Looking for protein fragments found inside or inside the coronavirus. Antigen tests usually produce results quickly within 15 minutes, but may not be as sensitive as molecular tests.

The way your provider collects samples may vary. For example, whether you want to perform a PCR test or an antigen test, the collection method can be any of the following: nasopharyngeal swab (a long swab with a brush at the end that extends until the nose is facing the throat); it is inserted about an inch into the nostril. Short cotton swabs; tonsil swabs from the back of the throat; or a handful of cotton swabs flooding the gums and cheeks. The new saliva test is still under review and requires you to pour saliva into a sterilized container, which may be difficult for young children.

Dr. Lane Tassin said that FastMed Urgent Care has more than 100 clinics in Arizona, North Carolina and Texas. It currently uses long swabs for rapid antigen testing and short swabs for PCR testing. One of the company’s chief medical officers. But the company’s chief clinical officer Jane Trombetta said that MedExpress is another emergency care team with clinics in 16 states. It will test all shorter nasal swabs during PCR or antigen testing at its nearly 200 emergency care centers. patient.

Experts say that the type of test your child receives depends largely on the tests available in your area, the time it takes to return results, and why your child needs it.

Some daycare centers and schools only accept PCR results for release before returning to school, so it is best to carefully check their rules in advance.

Long swab molecular testing is considered the “gold standard”, but other less invasive test methods are also reliable. For routine testing, Dr. Jay K. Varma, senior advisor for public health at the Office of the Mayor of New York City, said that shorter swabs “basically perform well, while longer, deeper swabs perform well.” This is true for both adults and children. In fact, he added that the public hospitals in New York City began to switch from long swabs to short swabs in the summer.


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