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Rapid nose swab tests may not detect Omicron effectively, expert says

An infectious diseases expert reported that swabbing the nose with a fast antigen test will not consistently detect Omicron variant in the first few days of infection, thus manufacturers should seek US certification to allow users to securely take samples from the throat as well.

The United States Food and Drug Administration is concerned about the safety of self-throat swabbing.

Dr. Michael Mina of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and chief science officer at eMed, said during a news conference on Thursday that people can already transmit Omicron to others when the virus has infected their throat and saliva but before the virus reaches their nose, so swabbing the nostrils too early in the course of infection will not pick it up.


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