Covid tests will soon be available at home
The FDA approved the first rapid Covid-19 self-testing kit for home use.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had quite a year along with everyone else on planet Earth responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The second wave is officially upon us in the United States, and there are more people and ever in search of testing.
Even though there is a PCR exam, and rapid covid exams at local medical agencies, tests are running low.
You’ve seen the lines, or maybe you’ve been one of the people who has had to wait a number of days before being able to get a telehealth appointment, let alone a test.
As the northeast grapples with a spike in cases, hospitalizations, deaths and lack of exams, the FDA recently approved the first at-home coronavirus exam.
The emergency authorization provides rapid results from the comfort of your home, and avoids the long lines in the dead of winter. On Nov. 17, the agency said the all-in-one test kit by Lucira is a single-use test and provided to a person with a prescription.
According to the FDA, the rapid test utilizes a molecular amplification technology that detects the virus with people who have been exposed to or have displayed symptoms.
The at-home single-use kit can deliver results in 30 minutes.
"While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home," FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement.
The test is similar to the one performed at urgent care or pop-up Covid-19 clinics, with a nasal swab sample, and putting that into a testing tube. The exam is authorized for anyone 14 and older. For anyone under 13, the exam can still only be performed by a healthcare provider.
Hahn added that it was an important advancement to address the pandemic and reduce the burden on the public.
For the people who share doubt about the at-home exams, and the accuracy of it, according to Politico, the at-home test accurately identified 94% of the positive samples and 98% of negative samples that were also diagnosed with a more sensitive lab test.
While the world continues to wait for a vaccine, which seems pretty promising for the Spring of 2021, the best the world can do is continue to get tested as often as they can if they feel they may have been exposed.