FDA approves new test that detects coronavirus in five minutes

Abbott Laboratories plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1


A new rapid test may soon be available that can detect the coronavirus in about five minutes.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the go-ahead to the test developed by Abbott Laboratories.

The medical device maker created a cartridge-based test that delivers a negative result in 13 minutes when the virus is not detected.

The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, according to John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics.

Frels explained that the molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can quickly be detected when present at high levels.

Related Content:  Abbott launches molecular point-of-care test

Abbott’s testing cartridge fits into the company’s portable ID NOW device, which is used at hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. The company said it would launch the test next week to select health care facilities that deliver urgent care.

U.S. Ramping Up Testing

Health experts say the U.S. should be testing 100,000 to 150,000 people per day to track and contain the virus. There are no official nationwide testing metrics, but private and public health labs currently report testing about 80,000 to 90,000 patients per day.

Nebraska Tested More than 2,000

In Nebraska  2,000 have been tested since the first of the year, according to the website Covidtracking.com.

KLKN-TV is tracking the number of confirmed cases.  As of Saturday, March 28th,  104 positive cases are confirmed in the state and two deaths associated with Covid-19.

Related Content: Coronavirus Breakdown: number of cases by counties in Nebraska

 Associated Press contributed to this story

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