A new test for the coronavirus that can show a positive or negative result in as fast as two minutes has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The test is made by Bodysphere Inc., and the results are shown on-site. These are the fastest test results of any coronavirus testing device to date and comes just after a rapid test was developed by Abbott Laboratories which was approved by the FDA last week and can achieve results in as little as five minutes.
Bodysphere Inc. says its two-minute test is a serological testing kit and collects results by using antibodies in the blood to determine current or past infection. The company also said that it is getting ready to “have millions of test kits on the front lines in weeks” and has been working with federal agencies to set up distribution of the tests.
What is the catch with the Bodysphere two-minute test? It can only detect the coronavirus in people who have had the infection for several days, which means if someone has had COVID-19 for a short amount of time and their body has not produced enough antibodies yet, then the test will not get accurate results. The test will prove useful though in most cases since people who will be receiving the test will most likely have been showing symptoms of COVID-19 already for more than a day or two.
The average current wait time in the United States for a patient’s coronavirus results is four to five days, and there are some reports of it taking more than a week. The federal government has faced criticism for its slow response to getting testing devices across the country, and access to testing has improved throughout the country due mostly to commercial labs.
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