COVID-19

A Quick, Cheap Test Would Help Stop COVID-19

One major reason for raising Covid19 is out of control and the current system of testing catches only a tiny fraction of people while they are contagious. And currently, it is clear that the same number as 40% of individuals who contract the coronavirus that causes the infection don’t realize they have it. Others are infectious a couple of days before they know they’re sick. If more individuals knew when they were irresistible, they would almost certainly remain at home and not pass on the virus, slowing or even stopping the outbreak.

In any case, the test that is most generally used to analyze COVID-19, known as a PCR test, requires investigation in a lab using expensive equipment. With the current surge in cases in Southern and Western states and a shortage of supplies to run the tests, it routinely takes three to five days and often a week or longer to return results.

In the United States, more than 750,000 tests are conducted a day more than 50,000 new positives nearly every day this month. And the scientists argue that a PCR is not a good tool in hospitals to identify precisely how much virus a patient is carrying,  and it’s not enough to stop the pandemic.

A Quick, Cheap Test Would Help Stop COVID-19

Stephen  Kissler, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said “That could be one of our most important interventions as we come into the fall to prevent large outbreaks from happening.”

The researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology were collaborating with a team at 3M to develop and scale such a test. And before the Pandemic MIT chemical engineer Hadley Sikes had developed prototypes to detect malaria, tuberculosis, and dengue.

On the off chance that one for COVID-19 works, it could deliver results within 10 minutes. And someone would simply add an organic liquid to an extraordinarily made bit of paper that changes shading to show a positive or negative. No proper preparation or extravagant machines required.

Sikes also mentioned that The National Institutes of Health is supporting the development of this test and others with money, daily advice, and a Shark-Tank-like competition. And he also said that “The world needs as many useful tests as possible as fast as possible.”

An early review of the rapid test showed that it accurately identified people with COVID-19 only about half the time. And Dr. Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, who has been leading the effort to develop a fast, frequent testing approach said that it was the right half.

But at the same time, this test might miss some people with low levels of virus in their system, and most of those would already be on the road to recovery, with such low levels they’d unlikely be contagious. 

According to FDA spokeswoman Nicole Mueller. “The agency considers the level of sensitivity in connection with the potential benefits and potential risks of any diagnostic test when evaluating an (Emergency Use Authorization) request.” 

Assistant professor Nate Grubaugh of epidemiology at Yale University said it’s unlikely enough rapid tests could be made quickly enough to transform the pandemic. And he also mentioned that while each individual test would be low-cost, doing them repeatedly would end up being expensive, creating another disparity between poor and wealthy communities.

Grubaugh said “speed and availability of testing need to go up dramatically across the country.” He is the one who develops a test that relies on saliva instead of sampling from the upper nose as is done with PCR tests. “It’ll be a combination of lots of things that get us there.”

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