To Your Health: FDA Approves Saliva Test to Detect COVID-19 + Podcasts

To Your Health: FDA Approves Saliva Test to Detect COVID-19 + Podcasts

Part-time Telluride local Dr. Alan Safdi, a world-renowned internist and gastroenterologist with encyclopedic knowledge of mind-body wellness and preventative medicine, posts on Telluride Inside… and Out under the banner of “To Your Health.” His blogs feature the most current information in his field: health, wellness, and longevity. Which now has to mean Dr. Alan’s podcasts are all about what’s on everyone’s mind: COVID-19. 

The links to his podcasts are here:

Podcast 1: Distancing during Covid-19 Epidemic…how far is enough?  Also proper hand-washing teehnique.

Podcast 2: Testing for Covid-19 and what are the differences and indications for each type of test?

Below is a story about the emergency use of saliva test to detect COVID-19, approved by the FDA.

As the race to develop rapid testing for COVID-19 expands, the Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency approval for an approach that uses saliva as the primary test biomaterial.

According to a document provided to the FDA, the Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory TaqPath SARS-CoV-2 Assay is intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in oropharyngeal (throat) swab, nasopharyngeal swab, anterior nasal swab, mid-turbinate nasal swab from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their health care clinicians. To expand on this assay, Rutgers University–based RUCDR Infinite Biologics developed a saliva collection method in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs.

The document states that collection of saliva specimens is limited to patients with symptoms of COVID-19 and should be performed in a healthcare setting under the supervision of a trained health care clinician. Samples are transported for RNA extraction and are tested within 48 hours of collection. In saliva samples obtained from 60 patients evaluated by the researchers, all were in agreement with the presence of COVID-19.

If shown to be as accurate as nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples, saliva as a biomatrix offers the advantage of not generating aerosols or creating as many respiratory droplets during specimen procurement, therefore decreasing the risk of transmission to the healthcare worker.

Also, it may be easy enough for patients to do saliva self-collection at home. However, it is important to note that SARS-CoV-2 tests on saliva have not yet undergone the more rigorous evaluation of full FDA authorization, and saliva is not a preferred specimen type of the FDA nor the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for respiratory virus testing.

Dr. Alan, more:

Dr. Alan Safdi is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology and is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. A proven leader in the healthcare arena, he has been featured on the national program, “Medical Crossfire” and authored or co-authored numerous medical articles and abstracts. Safdi has been involved in grant-based and clinical research for four decades and is passionate about disease prevention and wellness, not just fixing what has gone wrong. He is an international lecturer on the subjects of wellness, nutrition and gastroenterology.

As the world turns, there is a chance Dr. Alan, in partnership withThe Peaks Spa, will return with wellness intensives titled “Live Longer Retreat.” If that occurs, he will be assisted by yoga and Pilates instructors, athletic trainers, dietitians, chefs at the Peaks. Limited to only 10 – 15 participants, these intensives include personal consultations, hiking, spinning, yoga, talks and demonstrations related to nutrition, cooking classes, and more.

For all program information, go to his Telluride Longevity Institute website or sign up by calling 1-877-448-5416.

Go here to read a review of the experience by one very satisfied participant.


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