#AceHealthReport – Aug.29: Compared to the most commonly used type of coronavirus test in the country — molecular diagnostic tests, also called PCR tests — antigen tests don’t need complicated chemicals, viral transport media or RNA extraction kits: They don’t necessarily require appointments at specialised labs, highly trained technicians, or certain machines: And they can provide an answer in minutes, rather than hours or days:
#Coronavirus Report: Are these fast, cheap #COVID19 tests the game-changer everyone is waiting for ?
Problems with any one of these critical PCR test components have led to bottlenecks for the entire process since the start of the pandemic, frustrating patients, doctors and public health experts alike: Antigen tests work a little differently. “The PCR molecular tests actually test for the virus’ genetic material and the antigen test is testing for one of the viral proteins, so a piece of the virus,” said Dr. Jonathan Quick, managing director for pandemic response, preparedness and prevention at the Rockefeller Foundation:
Because of that, they’re not as reliable as traditional PCR tests: According to the CDC, “Antigen tests are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to molecular tests.”
Abbott, the manufacturer of the test, said in a news release the new test returns a result in 10 minutes: It’s about the size of a credit card and will cost around $5. The company said it’s planning to ship tens of millions of tests in September, ramping to 50 million tests a month at the beginning of October:
That’s a big jump from our current testing capacity: According to data from the COVID Tracking Project, the U.S. conducted a little over 4.7 million tests last week. While that might sound like a lot, that still adds up to fewer than 20 million tests a month, and it’s far less than the million-plus tests per day some public health experts say we should be doing.
#AceHealthDesk report …………..Published: Aug.29: 2020:
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