TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection in nasal swabs that are self-collected by school-aged children and adolescents shows high agreement with results collected by health care workers, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jesse J. Waggoner, M.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues compared self-collected nasal swabs (July to August 2021) from 197 symptomatic children and adolescents (aged 4 to 14 years) to health care worker-collected swabs.

The researchers report that 44.4 percent of participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 53.6 percent tested negative by both self- and health care worker-collected swabs. Two children tested positive by self- or health care worker-collected swab alone. Self-collected swabs had 97.8 percent positive and 98.1 percent negative percent agreement compared with health care worker-collected swabs. SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold values did not differ significantly between groups.

“Children younger than 8 years had more difficulty with sample collection, but this did not affect the concordance with health care workers-collected samples,” the authors write. “For the very youngest children, who had difficulty with swab collection and for whom swab collection was not completed correctly, this approach should be used with caution.”

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