The Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) issued steering on Thursday recommending that individuals testing themselves for COVID-19 at dwelling take a repeat check inside 48 hours to rule out a possible false adverse.
In its steering, the FDA famous that at-home assessments are much less more likely to detect the coronavirus than PCR lab assessments. This inaccuracy is extra more likely to happen early on within the an infection in individuals who show no signs.
“Presently, all at-home COVID-19 antigen assessments are FDA-authorized for repeat, or serial use. This implies individuals ought to use a number of assessments over a sure time interval, akin to 2-3 days, particularly when the individuals utilizing the assessments don’t have COVID-19 signs,” the FDA mentioned.
Individuals ought to preserve a number of assessments available for the aim of this new steering, the company mentioned. Most over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 assessments are bought in multipacks.
The FDA beneficial that individuals take one preliminary check if they believe they might be contaminated or uncovered to COVID-19. In the event that they check adverse and have some signs, then they need to check once more 48 hours after the primary check. If the second check continues to be adverse, a laboratory molecular-based check needs to be thought-about.
If an individual has no COVID-19 signs however believes they’ve been uncovered to the virus, the FDA mentioned they need to additionally check themselves a second time, additionally 48 hours after their first at-home check. If the second check is adverse, they need to take a further third check one other 48 hours afterward.
If any of those at-home assessments come again constructive, then the person probably has COVID-19 and will observe steering from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
The company mentioned these most up-to-date suggestions had been primarily based on “the newest examine outcomes from individuals with probably omicron an infection exhibiting that repeat testing after a adverse at-home COVID-19 antigen check consequence will increase the possibility of an correct consequence.”
Round a dozen at-home COVID-19 assessments have been approved by the FDA.
Many group well being facilities throughout the nation have been giving out free at-home COVID-19 assessments. People with medical health insurance can often both obtain free assessments at shops and pharmacies or obtain reimbursements via their insurers. The Division of Well being and Human Providers can be distributing free assessments via Medicare-certified well being clinics.