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We have reviewed three home covid-19 tests.This is what happened

As a result, I don’t think home testing is as useful as some people have hoped for. When used extensively to screen covids, they can send millions of anxious people seeking unnecessary laboratory tests and medical care.

Is it still relevant?

As the covid-19 pandemic spread around the world last year, economists and scientists called for a significant expansion of testing and contact tracing in the United States to find and isolate infected individuals. However, according to the Covid Tracking Project, the number of daily tests in the United States did not exceed 2 million, most of which was done in the lab or on specialized equipment.

According to the manufacturer, home tests are currently manufactured in tens of millions, but some experts are uncertain whether even a fully functional test can significantly change the pandemic situation at this time. .. “The real value of these tests was six months ago,” says Amitabh Chandra, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School. “I think the move to over-the-counter sales is great, but in a world where vaccines are more widely available, their value is limited.” Immunization eligibility is more important to travel and diet than test results. It may be.

Companies selling the test say it’s a good strategy to get the test back to normal, especially given that the children haven’t been vaccinated yet. For employers who want to keep their offices and factories open, they say voluntary consumer testing may be a good option. Abbott’s spokesperson told me that it might also help people “start thinking about coordinating a more conscious bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday party.”

The British government said on April 9 that it wants people to “get into the habit” of testing themselves twice a week as social distance restrictions have been relaxed, with covid antigens in the mail and street corners. We have started to provide inspections for free. Along with the vaccine, free testing is part of the country’s plans to quell the virus. However, after that, according to a leaked government memo, health officials were personally worried about the false positive tsunami.

In the United States, there are no national campaigns for home inspections or subsidies for them yet. It’s also too expensive for most people to use at any frequency, at their own expense.Given my experience, it may be the best..

Test type

The three tests we tried included two antigen tests (Abbott Laboratories’ Binax Now and Ellume kits) and one molecular test called Lucira. In general, molecular tests that detect the genes for coronavirus are more reliable than antigen tests that detect the presence of the outer shell of the virus.

Everything you need is in one box, except for Ellume tests that need to be paired with your app. Overall, the Lucira test was the best combination of advertised accuracy and simplicity, but it was also the most expensive at $ 55.

I haven’t tried Quidel QuickVue, another antigen test, or a molecular test for Cue Health. These tests are approved for home use, but have not yet been sold directly to the general public.

After trying all the tests, I have no plans to invest in using them on a regular basis. I work from home and aren’t sociable, so I don’t really have to. Instead, we’ll put at least one test in the cupboard so that if you feel sick or lose the smell, you can quickly see if it’s a covid-19. The ability to test at home may become even more important next winter when the cold and flu season returns.

Abbott Laboratories

BinaxNow by Abbott

Time required: About 20 minutes
price: $ 23.99 for two
availability: From April at some CVS stores. Abbott says he does tens of millions of Binax Now tests a month.
Accuracy: 84.6% to detect covid-19 infection, 98.5% to correctly identify covid-19 negative

This is the home version of the 15-minute fast test that the White House used last year to screen staff and visitors. This is an antigen test. That is, it examines samples from nasal swabs to detect proteins in the virus shell. Launched in the United States last week, two test kits were available for purchase at CVS for $ 23.99 and taxes.

The technique used is called “immunochromatography”. Simply put, it means it works like a pregnancy test. It’s basically a paper card with a test strip. As the sample flows, it hits the antibody attached to the viral protein and then the colored marker. If a virus is present, a pink bar will appear on the strip.

I found the test to be fairly easy to run. Use a dropper to dispense 6 drops of chemical into the small holes in the card. Then, after running around both nostrils, insert a cotton swab. Rotate the swab counterclockwise and fold the card to bring the test strip into contact with the swab. That’s it. After 15 minutes, a positive result will appear as a faint pink line.

The downside of testing is that there is room for two types of user errors. It is difficult to see the drops coming out of the dropper, and too little usage can result in false negatives. Therefore, you may accidentally wipe your nose. Unlike other tests, this cannot determine if you made a mistake.

In addition to the possibility of user error, the test itself has accuracy issues. BinaxNow is the cheapest test in the world, but it is most likely a mistake and lacks one-seventh of the actual infection. Abbott warns that the results “should be treated as estimates” and “do not exclude SARS-Cov-2.”

However, buyers cannot find the correct answer rate without digging into the details. The company also fills in key requirements imposed by regulators. Both tests in the kit are to be used at least 36 hours apart to compensate for the loss of accuracy. I think casual buyers will understand that. The requirements for the two tests are rarely mentioned in the description.

We have reviewed three home covid-19 tests.This is what happened

Source link We have reviewed three home covid-19 tests.This is what happened

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