U.S. Coronavirus Testing Gets A Potential Breakthrough

17 Mars, 2020, 15:58 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • U.S. Coronavirus Testing Gets A Potential Breakthrough

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have, however, loosened these criteria and now allow doctors to use their own discretion about other circumstances that might warrant testing for people with symptoms. CDC officials also said this earlier this month, when they expanded their testing criteria February 27 after the first USA case of unknown origin was confirmed.

Problems with USA testing became apparent in early February, when public health labs across the country reported that they could not validate a coronavirus test developed by the CDC.

The administration also tapped a new "czar" housed at the Department of Health and Human Services, putting Adm. Brett Giroir in charge of coordinating testing efforts among public health service agencies.

Despite the CDC saying the decision to test has been up to doctors, it may not have been implemented this way at state or local levels.

"For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness; however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal", the World Health Organization says.

After more than a month in which tests themselves were show to become available, the official said that 4.8 million have now been distributed. "We are working with the private sector at an urgent pace to make these tests available on as many diagnostic platforms as we can in the coming weeks". These settings could include concerts, sporting events, religious gatherings, movie theaters, shopping malls, and public transportation.

The first batch of testing kits distributed by the CDC to state health departments earlier this year were faulty.

U.S. Coronavirus Testing Gets A Potential Breakthrough

"As soon as that case was recognized, we met and we revised our case definition for persons under investigation", CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in February.

Should you get tested?

The CDC is asking people to consider the risk of spreading the coronavirus to others during travel.

As of Thursday, North Carolina has 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from nine reported as of Wednesday, but a lack of access to testing makes the real number of infections impossible to calculate. At the time, meeting attendees who didn't have symptoms but wanted to be tested at emergency rooms were turned away because they weren't sick. The FDA eventually approved a simplified version of the test, and authorized public health labs to create their own tests in-house.

According to the CDC, the first thing you should do if you believe you have been exposed to the virus and are showing symptoms is to call your doctor. The number of tests available also factors into their decision.

If I have symptoms, where should I go to get tested?

"As the pandemic evolves, it's likely more companies [will] develop tests and bring them to market", he said.

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