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FDA approves new saliva test for COVID-19

Reports indicate the new saliva tests will be faster, safer and more efficient

Health care workers conduct a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru assessment center at Etobicoke General Hospital in Toronto, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Saliva tests will hopefully be present less infection risks to healthcare workers and increase testing capacity. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Health care workers conduct a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru assessment center at Etobicoke General Hospital in Toronto, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Saliva tests will hopefully be present less infection risks to healthcare workers and increase testing capacity. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Nathan Denette, Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a COVID-19 test that uses saliva samples to detect the virus, CNBC reports.

Rutgers University’s RUCDR Infinite Biologics developed the test, which requires patients to collect their spit in a tube. This differs from current testing methods that require health care professionals to swab the back of a patient’s nose or throat to collect samples — methods that strain supplies and place health care workers at an increased risk of infection, the Hill reports.

Saliva tests will also expedite the testing process as patients will be able to safely collect their own samples at home. Saliva testing is less invasive than the current method, which can be painful for some as it requires workers to collect samples from the nasopharynx — an upper part of the throat that is usually accessed through the nostrils, according to USAToday.

One TikTok user filmed her test and said it felt like she was “being stabbed in the brain.”

The new saliva test has been found to be just as accurate as the swab tests, Newsweek reports.