Coronavirus: Alberta returns to ‘gold standard’ nasal pharyngeal swabs as global supply rebounds.

A nurse prepares a testing swab at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

A nurse prepares a testing swab at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

Canadian Press file

Alberta is switching back to nasal pharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 testing now that the global supply has been restored.

During the height of the pandemic, there was a global shortage of the nasal pharyngeal swabs, Kerry Williamson explained.

So Alberta Precision Laboratories sourced throat swabs to make sure the province could keep up with the demand for testing.

“Early on in the pandemic, Alberta Precision Laboratories validated and confirmed that a throat sample collected on the appropriate swabs is effective at detecting the virus,” Williamson explained.

The nasal pharyngeal swabs, which collect a sample deeper than a traditional nasal swab, continued to be used in Alberta throughout the pandemic in certain clinical settings, such as transplant, oncology and critical care units.

Trending Stories

  • Coronavirus reveals difference between U.S., Canadian health care, former insurance executive says

  • 18 family members test positive for COVID-19 following birthday party in Texas

But now that the global supply is stabilizing, Williamson said the lab is returning to nasal pharyngeal swabs, “the gold standard for patient collection and testing of respiratory viruses.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Alberta labs will use different types of swabs as required, he added, to make sure inventory remains stable.

View link »

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Related news

10 More People Killed In Landslides Across Nepal, Total 54 Deaths.

At least ten people were killed on Sunday in landslides caused by incessant rains across Nepal, taking the total number of fatalities due to landslips to 54 in last three days.

U.S. could consider Meng Wanzhou case as civil, not criminal: former Australian PM

Kevin Rudd says Canadian actions will free the two Michaels as the ball is in the U.S. court.

2 1

Philippines calls for Beijing to follow ruling on South China sea dispute.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. issued the call on the anniversary of the July 12, 2016, ruling by an international tribunal in The Hague.

1 2

Four Afghan Soldiers Killed In Suspected Taliban Attack.

An Afghan official said four government soldiers were killed after suspected Taliban militants attacked a security post in central Afghanistan.


Lebanon’s economy spirals out of control amid coronavirus, calls for government reform.

Lebanon's crisis was not caused by the coronavirus, but it has made a very bad situation even worse, tipping the country's economy over the edge.

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies