News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Saliva Testing Reveals Super-carrier Risks On New Zealand Borders

Just 2% of COVID-19 positive cases carry 90% of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus in a population which means most people with COVID-19 don’t infect others but a few people are super-carriers who can infect many people, according to a Colorado University research study.

“We hope that the Sydney visitor to Wellington was not one these super-carriers even if infected with the more transmissible Delta variant,” Rako Chief Science Officer Dr Stephen Grice said.

“It is good news the visitor had a first vaccination shot as it is possible this reduced the risk of being a super-carrier which supports Chris Hipkins’ comment that it is a low risk but not no risk,” he said.

In 2020 Colorado University (CU), using the same saliva test as Rako Science in New Zealand, tested 72,500 students who reported no symptoms, and 1405 positive cases were identified and just 2% of those cases carried 90% of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus.

CU also compared its positive samples with samples from hospitalized COVID-19 patients and found that viral loads in asymptomatic people were "indistinguishable" from highly symptomatic people.

“Coming in contact with a super-carrier is a game of chance so you have to continue to be careful. And some asymptomatic people are carrying a viral load as high as someone with COVID-19 who is very sick in hospital,” Dr Grice said.

“If you do come into contact with a super-carrier there is much higher risk and there is no difference whether they are coughing or not,” he said.

CU Boulder article here on Just 2% of SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals carry 90% of the virus circulating in communities (

Rako Science delivers surveillance testing at scale to protect New Zealand workers, business and vulnerable communities. Rako Science’s COVID-19 PCR saliva test is painless, non-invasive, repeatable and as accurate as nasopharyngeal swab tests.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland