1Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Chirurgiche e della Salute, Università di Trieste
2Dipartimento di Diagnostica Avanzata, SC di Genetica Medica, IRCCS Materno-Infantile “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
3Dipartimento di Area Medica (DAME), Università di Udine
4Direzione sanitaria, 55SC di Otorinolaringoiatria e Audiologia, IRCCS Materno-Infantile “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
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Key words: Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, Swab, Diagnostic tests, Health surveillance
The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, has currently a pandemic presentation that requires careful health management that begins with the detection of positive cases. Without available specific vaccine or treatments, it is crucial to be able to achieve a rapid and reliable diagnosis. The identification of positive cases depends on the correct collection of biological material and subsequent molecular analysis. Current international and national guidelines recommend the execution of respiratory tract swabs and updated evidence suggests the usefulness of swabs from the upper respiratory tract, specifically the nasopharyngeal swab. However, references regarding the most suitable procedures for infants, children and adolescents are scanty. Epidemiological data on Covid-19 paediatric infection are affected by the number and the way in which swabs are performed. The paper gives some basic information on how to perform the swabs correctly highlighting paediatric peculiarities, an acronym (ABCD) that helps to remember the main challenges and complications of the procedure, and troubleshooting.
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