Dr. Anjali Viswanathan, an internal medicine doctor who sees patients in her outpatient practice, as well as at the New Jersey hospital where she works, wasn’t able to get tests for her patients through the state health department or the hospital. But two testing companies, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostic, had test kits available with just a 72-hour turnaround for results.
There was just one catch. Viswanathan would have to provide the protective gear needed to procure the patient samples for the testing companies to analyze.
The test involves a deep nasal swab in which the doctor inserts the swab about three-quarters of the way into the nose and swirls it a couple of times in each nostril, Viswanathan explained.
“If someone sneezes on the staff performing the test, we will be exposed,” Viswanathan said. When she’s performed similar swabs in the past, to test for the flu, her patients sneezed roughly 75 percent of the time, she said.