FDA Approves Coronavirus Swab Tests That Could Be Done At Home

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new Q-tip style swab test that could provide safer-at-home coronavirus testing. People would be able to perform their own swab tests at home with swabs that are shorter than those used by doctors and nurses to collect samples, according to CNN.com.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the FDA is working with US Cotton to mass manufacture the swabs.

“The type of testing at the front of the nose used in this study is notable because it allows self-collection by patients thereby limiting exposure of healthcare providers; it is more comfortable for patients and it can be performed by a swab that is more readily available and manufacturable at scale,” the FDA said in a statement.

The FDA, the Gates Foundation, Quantigen, and UnitedHealth Group launched an investigation that determined swabs could be used for testing.

“We appreciate work by UnitedHealth Group, Quantigen, and the Gates Foundation to perform and support the clinical studies necessary for this advancement,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said. “We also want to acknowledge US Cotton’s efforts to manufacture a new type of swab for COVID-19 testing that can be produced at scale.

“All of these actions by these American organizations will help continue to expand our testing capability.”

There are currently more than 677,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 34,800 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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