New COVID-19 oral rinse may be good option for kids, seniors

(WAVE3 News)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 10:14 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new COVID-19 test currently being used for film crews that have to be tested consistently will be available at some Louisville sites next week. Like a mouthwash, it’s simple and painless and may be a better option for children and seniors.

The test that’s also heading to other cities was evaluated in Louisville, too, with patients who were willing to take a swish.

“So just keep swishing it?” asked Louisville tester Martha Dick holding the rinse in her mouth.

A staffer at the Bluewater’s Diagnostic Labs mobile coronavirus testing site on Blankenbaker Parkway shook her head yes and replied, “Just keep swishing it.”

Testers swish for a minute like a mouthwash, then spit it into a tube.

“It didn’t taste that bad,” Dick said. “The hardest part was just waiting 60 seconds.”

Louisville tester Terry O’Mahoney described the test.

“No big deal, really easy to do,” he said.

Those taking the COVID-19 oral rinse for Bluewater also took a nasal swab test to help validate the results. Created a few years back for roadside toxicology tests, the rinse is considered more reliable than some rapid tests that use one sample of saliva.

“It causes you to salivate right so you’re not collecting saliva,” said Greg Ingle, the CEO of Lucid DX Labs, which created and has the patent for the test. “You’re collecting back the oral rinse which has the viscosity of water. It makes it very easy to scale in the laboratory.”

Where is it likely to have the biggest appeal? For starters, kids who may be intimidated or afraid of the nasal tests. With more schools seeing infections, more children are being tested. The rinse also may be a better option for seniors with dry mouth or those who don’t like the nasal swab. That was the case for Ingle’s dad.

“My father is COVID-positive; he wouldn’t take a second test,” Ingle said. “He just wasn’t going to do it.”

Ingle said the rinse is currently being used for ESPN film crews on a regular basis. What it tastes like might surprise you.

“If you’ve ever drank a Red Bull, I’m going to tell you, it’s exactly what it tastes like, a natural product, like a flat Red Bull,” O’Mahoney said. “I don’t drink Red Bull so I couldn’t tell you, but it just tasted like very weak mouthwash.”

Martha Dick added, “I’m all for anything that would make it easier for people to being positive about being tested and not worried about it so much.”

The oral rinse, like most coronavirus tests, is averaging results in 24 to 48 hours.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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