Now the COVID-19 testing has upgraded, a handful of results now returns from the lab in just 2 to 3 days. However, until the results come back from the lab, i.e., for 3 days, the patient must stay in limbo as they worry about returning to work or school. To eliminate this time delay, a new test was introduced called antigen tests, which only takes 15 minutes to detect and give results of the sample. The antigen tests analyze a mucus sample for the nucleocapsid protein found in COVID-19 itself.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two such tests to be distributed under Emergency Use Authorization. But this test is not the same thing as being FDA approved and is only allowed under special situations.
American medical technology firm, Becton, Dickinson, and Company are commonly known as BD, and major American manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare products, Quidel Corporation, has distributed the antigen tests. Besides, doctors like Express ER Chief Medical Officer Daniel Akers would recommend it and wish to make them available to patients as of now, and they have proven hard to track down.
Dr. Daniel Akers said that there is undoubtedly a nationwide shortage on these tests, as well as the devices that run the tests. Presently there are only a handful of manufacturers of the test, and the regulatory authorities have ended up buying only 2000 devices and 750,000 of the tests, which made it a low inventory item for the nation.
The tests would bring faster results for patients and be more cost-effective because the health care provider needs not to pay for lab services. The antigen tests are not only much quicker, which only engages 15 minutes to give the results, but it is also budget-friendly, mere charges 25% of the actual testing charges.
However, the school and employers sector, which thinks that they could employ this technology to take tests of the staff on a daily basis, might want to hold back. The nasal swab procedure, which is presently following in hospitals in the PCR tests, is a similar process used for the antigen tests. However, it is not a comfortable procedure.
Various other technologies are coming out, such as blood tests, which also claim to be antigen tests that are under process and might prove to be a more significant game-changer. He doesn’t have any idea about the person who will take a nasal swab test every day when came to work. Taking nasal swabs repetitive every day to prove that they are not infected with COVID-19 is probably not a practical solution for employers or schools, Dr. Daniel Akers.
6 News contacted the Waco-based Family Health Center, the Waco-McLennan County Health District, Baylor Scott and White, and others to detect and find a doctor who presently had a test. None could be found.
Still, Akers said the test could enable employees who need a COVID-19 test to recover to work sooner as long as CDC guidelines allow them to perform so. Express ER is currently on a waitlist for the tests.
The antigen tests a nice confirmatory test that we were not having before, Dr. Akers said.
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