FDA authorizes new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

The FDA said a negative results from an antigen test does not rule out an infection and may need to be confirmed with a PCR test.
Fda
Courtesy: ABC News

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first test that can rapidly detect if a person has the virus that causes COVID-19, and has the ability to test millions of Americans per day.

The antigen test can produce results within minutes, according to the FDA, and some experts believe it is better for mass testing than the PCR test, which is the current diagnostic test that can detect an active COVID-19 infection.

The agency described the antigen test as “important in the overall response against COVID-19” because they can generally be produced at a lower cost and “once multiple manufacturers enter the market, can potentially scale to test millions of Americans per day due to their simpler design, helping our country better identify infection rates closer to real time.”

However, the FDA also noted downfalls of the antigen tests. While the tests produce highly accurate positive results, there is also a higher chance they produce false negatives than PCR tests.

The FDA said a negative results from an antigen test does not rule out an infection and may need to be confirmed with a PCR test.

This is the first antigen test to be authorized, but more will follow, according to the FDA.

Categories: Coronavirus, News