What is Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test and Where to Get it in the Philippines?

Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test: How and Where to Get It in the Philippines

Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test

A Guide to Saliva-Based RT-PCR Test in the Philippines

The global pandemic has truly changed the way we live. No matter how we want to go back to how it was before, we all know that it’s not gonna happen anytime soon. As most would call it, we’re now living in the “new normal.” And the new normal comes with new responsibilities: wearing face masks, temperature checks, contact tracing, and COVID-19 tests– all of which help us from getting exposed to and possibly transmitting the virus.

Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test
Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test

For our essential workers and authorized persons of residences, it can’t be helped that they need to go out and work. Though it’s risky, there are ways to know that they’re safe and protected from the virus. Thankfully, we have COVID-19 tests that can immediately determine if we’re a virus carrier. Aside from the RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swab test, there’s now a saliva-based COVID-19 test that you can take.

What is a saliva COVID-19 test?

A saliva COVID-19 test is a quick, less invasive, almost painless, and not to mention a cheaper COVID 19 test. The procedure starts with a sterile vial given to patients where they would just spit into. It’s self-administered, too, and it takes less than 15 minutes, depending on how long a patient produces saliva enough to fill the vial.

What should you do before getting a saliva-based test?

Patients must not eat, drink, brush their teeth, use mouthwash or smoke at least 30 minutes before the procedure.

When should you get a saliva-based test?

Based on DOH guidelines, morning saliva is preferred as a specimen due to its higher viral load.

How long can you get the results?

Depending on the clinic or hospital, you can already get your results in a few hours or so.

How accurate is a saliva test?

According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, saliva-based testing shows 83% accuracy in detecting positive coronavirus infection, compared to the 85% accuracy of nasopharyngeal swab tests. The test also shows 99% accuracy in identifying negative cases too.

However, no test result is 100percent accurate. It is always best to discuss with your healthcare provider if further testing is needed.

What do saliva-based COVID test results mean?

If a patient gets a negative test result, COVID-19 is not found on the test specimen at the time of testing. Otherwise, if a patient gets a positive result, it means it detected a presence of COVID-19 in the specimen at the time of testing.

As all tests are not 100% accurate, it is always better to do preventive measures by practicing safety guidelines and completing quarantine protocols suggested by your healthcare provider.

How much does a saliva test cost?

Saliva tests are usually priced at P2,000, depending on your chosen clinic.

Where can I get a saliva test?

According to the Department of Health (DOH), “only licensed COVID-19 laboratories certified by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) can perform saliva-based RT-PCR.” Some establishments that offer saliva RT-PCR tests include:

See the full list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in the Philippines here.

For travel purposes, make sure that you will accept saliva test results as some destinations still require swab tests.

Have you tried undergoing a saliva test? What was your experience? Share it with us in the comments section below!

Source: Department of Health, Healthline.

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