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FDA approves Coronavirus test that takes less than fifteen minutes to determine if a patient is positive or negative

According to USA Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a device that takes less than fifteen minutes to determine if a patient has Coronavirus or not. This device, called the ID NOW, was created by Abbott Labs and is about seven pounds and the size of a small toaster. Abbot claimed that when testing the Coronavirus, the ID NOW can indicate positive “results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes” (NBC News). The FDA claimed the known and potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. For example, these risks include false positives and negatives. FDA Commissioner Steve Hahn gave a statement about the new device Monday, saying, “These tests that can give results quickly can be a game-changer in diagnosing COVID-19″ (USA Today). Abbott Labs projects will deliver 50,000 tests per day beginning this week. ~

To date, the FDA is working with more than 220 test developers to find devices that can detect the Coronavirus, according to the FDA’s last Coronavirus update. These test developers are submitting “Emergency use authorizations (EUA) requests … for tests that detect the virus” (FDA). But, there are a few options that have already been approved or have been authorized to be used without approval. Some examples of these devices, according to USA Today, are Cepheid’s device that can detect the Coronavirus in about forty-five minutes and Mesa Biotech’s device that takes about thirty minutes to detect the virus. These devices have been authorized to be used at temporary screening facilities, physician office labs, urgent care, and long term nursing facilities. ~

These tests should allow medical experts to test more people at a faster rate. Before the ID NOW, the process that was widely used to test the Coronavirus was called the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This process took anywhere from a few hours to a few days, claimed Scientific American. The fifteen-minute test from the ID NOW device should ensure the testing of more people, get people in and out of hospitals at a faster rate, and hopefully allow the United States to take more precautions to halt the spreading of the Coronavirus. ~

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