coronavirus who test kits

  • 4 min read
  • Mar 12, 2019

Preparing for coronavirus in the US: Why the US needs better ...
Preparing for coronavirus in the US: Why the US needs better …

important month of testing times lost in the US because of poor strategy and CDC tests are not reliable.

and

Submitted on March 18, 2020, at 11:47 ET

A drive-thru coronavirus test station in Idaho.

Over the last six weeks, testing the coronavirus in the United States has been dogged by both bureaucratic bungling and technical errors, leaving the public health authorities largely ignorant of the true extent of the outbreak. While the US confirmed case of just over 5,000 mark, some experts estimate the actual number is closer to 50,000, with most detected as to obtain broad-scale tests.

government failure affects every step of the testing process, from initial throat swab for genetic sequencing. Here’s how.

Patients swabbed in the nose and throat.

What is wrong

By the end of February, CDC guidelines only allowed to test people who have traveled to China or who has had contact with tourists, many people who have worrying symptoms but do not out of every contact is lost.

Even now, state and local health departments have the requirement for testing.

at the beginning of February, the FDA only approved the CDC test, restrictions on the use of similar tests of other labs and highly effective test of the World Health Organization.

Unlike South Korea, which is planned for the drive-thru collection swab to expedite testing, the US has been largely dependent on the swabbing in-office, wasting time and equipment.

Chemical rupture and stabilize the virus genetic material, called RNA.

What is wrong

CDC test kits required exclusively to isolate viral RNA from a sample swab and spit. This kit immediately ran out, slowing testing.

South Korea to invest in equipment and staff to automate these tests in a large batch. CDC tests, on the contrary, slow and labor-intensive.

The viral RNA is inserted into a test tube.

RNA is converted into DNA, and that the genetic material is heated to split into two. A “primary” that is specific to the virus then attaches to DNA, and other chemicals then doubling the amount of genetic material. With each doubling, the fluorescent signals fired by a chemical reaction.

What is wrong

CDC supplying three primary with each test. One of the primary proved to be reliable for almost every laboratory to try it, as did the second in several major public health laboratories, especially New York.

Despite this failure, the CDC and the FDA did not provide any other laboratory tests themselves permission to make until the end of February, the loss of one month of testing times.

to watch whether the fluorescent signals grow with each cycle, scientists can determine whether the patient samples have a virus in it. When done correctly, each test should take only about a few hours to complete.

What is wrong

In the US, the results often take four or more days if they were available at all.

Federal officials waited until early March to invite large private laboratories, which can run thousands of tests a day, to begin testing coronavirus, leaving the US with a swab sample backlog even number of cases doubling every two days.

Ben King was Art Director for BuzzFeed News and based in New York.

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had a secret tip? ,

Dan Vergano is a science reporter for BuzzFeed News and based in Washington, DC.

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