29 May 2020 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
COVID-19 impact: Yes, it’s time for Dubai business to restartCOVID-19 response: DIFC to gradually reopen businesses from WednesdayCOVID-19 response: DIFC to gradually reopen businesses from WednesdayDubai 22K gold price touches Dh200 a gram for first time in nine yearsCoronavirus: UAE announces 624 new cases, 11 deathsCOVID-19: UAE announces 462 new casesCoronavirus: UAE announces 549 new cases, 9 deathsSmall group of employees behind fraud at NMC Health, says B.R. ShettyCOVID 19: UAE announces 4 deaths, 518 new coronavirus cases and 91 recoveriesUAE announces 490 new coronavirus cases, three deathsCoronavirus: UAE announces 432 new Covid-19 cases on WednesdayCovid-19: UAE announces 300 new cases of coronavirusCOVID-19: Disinfection drive extended to 24 hours in DubaiUAE announces recovery of two new coronavirus patientsPanasonic CEO vows to ‘eradicate’ money-losing businessesEmirates to carry over 6,500 passengers to Dubai for Amway’s largest leadership gatheringTrading of Emirates NBD Bank’s rights issue to take place this NovemberSelling pressure on Emaar drags DFM 1.3% lowerEmirates NBD hires Standard Chartered's Patrick Sullivan as CFOWorld Bank chief asks India to reform financial sectorEarly settlement charges on home loans in UAE reducedBreast Cancer Awareness: How to do a self-exam and why it is a mustDFM surges 4.8 percentageas Emirates NBD hikes foreign stakes limitMcDonald’s enlists Alexa and Google to help with its hiring84-year-old Indian man goes skydiving in DubaiUAE in Space: Have questions for Hazza on the ISS?Indian minister seeks direct flight between Bhubaneswar and DubaiExpo 2020 dome now complete, marking new milestone for UAEEmirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri undergoes final test as lift-off nearsSoftBank triples net profit in Q1Microsoft 'listens' to conversations, but only with permissionChina warns India of ‘reverse sanctions’ if Huawei is blockedStocks, oil edge higher as trade-war panic easesTens of thousands losing jobs as India's auto crisis deepensSerena again tops Forbes list of highest-paid sports womenDubai equity traders get a reason to cash out ahead of holidaysRight time to invest? UAE equities attractive on low valuations, positive indicatorsIndian rupee hits 19.21 vs UAE dirhamHumid and dusty weather in UAE until Eid weekendHeathrow airport strike: Emirates issues travel advisoryEid Al Adha 2019: Four-day holiday in UAEEid Al Adha to be celebrated on August 11 in UAENissan, Renault eye restructuring for Fiat merger: report Nissan controls 15 per cent and has no voting rights in Renault

First saliva test to help diagnose coronavirus, reduce infection risk for healthcare workers

Current approach requires health care workers to take a swab from a patient's nose or throat.

Rutgers University researchers have received US government clearance for the first saliva test to help diagnose Covid-19, a new approach that could help expand testing options and reduce risks of infection for health care workers.

The Food and Drug Administration authorised the test under its emergency powers to quickly clear new tests and therapies to fight the outbreak, the New Jersey university said Monday. The test initially will be available through hospitals and clinics affiliated with the school. The announcement comes as communities across the US. continue to struggle with testing to help track and contain the coronavirus.

The current approach to screening for COVID-19 requires health care workers to take a swab from a patient's nose or throat. To lessen infection risks, many hospitals and clinics instruct staff to discard gloves and masks after close contact with anyone who may have the virus. And many institutions are struggling with shortages of basic medical supplies, including gloves, masks and swabs.

With the new saliva-based test, patients are given a plastic tube into which they spit several times. They then hand the tube back to the health care worker for laboratory processing.

"This prevents health care professionals from having to actually be in the face of somebody that is symptomatic," said Andrew Brooks, who directs the Rutgers lab that developed the test.

An infectious disease expert not involved with the new test said it would help overcome some of the patient discomfort and difficulties in taking swab samples.

"You want to be in all types of situations with all types of options so that we can have as much testing as possible in whatever form is suitable," said Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins University. Adalja noted that similar saliva tests have helped expand testing for HIV and other conditions.

Rutgers tested the accuracy of its method by taking both saliva and swab samples from 60 patients. The results from patients' saliva samples had a 100 per cent match with results from the swabs.

Rutgers developed the laboratory method for the test using saliva collection kits from Spectrum Solutions, a Utah company that provides similar devices for DNA-based ancestry testing services. The Rutgers lab can currently process 10,000 patient samples per day, according to Brooks.

In its authorization letter to Rutgers, the FDA said the test should only be performed "in a health care setting under the supervision of a trained health care provider." The FDA has not cleared any Covid-19 tests for use at home, though several companies have announced plans to make them available.

Additionally, the FDA said patients who test negative with the saliva-based kit should have their results confirmed with a second testing method.