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Swab tests detect the presence of bacteria or viruses in the sputum.

A swab test is deployed for the detection of both bacteria and viruses present in the sputum.

A swab test is deployed for the detection of both bacteria and viruses present in the sputum.Sputum is the thick mucus or phlegm from the lower respiratory tract expelled through coughing, used to detect the presence of microorganisms in the throat that could cause infection. The testing samples are either collected from the nose or throat on a cotton swab, and the process is referred to as a swab test. The swab tests are mainly employed in detecting the presence of bacteria in the throat that can cause infection, and it was rarely used for diagnosing respiratory viral infections.

However, the reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR) test is rapid, sensitive, and specific for testing viral infection. The RT-PCR is one of the most widely adopted qualitative tests for detecting nucleic acid present in coronavirus, from upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from individuals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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