Study: Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Tests Perform Similarly with Omicron as Prior Variants | Health News

The extensively used Abbott BinaxNOW antigen coronavirus take a look at can detect nearly all of omicron instances in people who find themselves carrying excessive ranges of the virus, acting at a stage just like what was seen with earlier variants, a brand new examine discovered.

The analysis comes as considerations have been raised in current weeks over the accuracy of the fast exams. The Meals and Drug Administration beforehand famous that some fast coronavirus exams may be much less delicate to the omicron variant, which is the dominant pressure circulating within the U.S.

The examine, which hasn’t been peer reviewed, checked out over 700 individuals who used a walk-up testing website in San Francisco in early January. It discovered that fast exams detected 95% of infections in folks with excessive viral masses.

Researchers wrote that the examine “confirms that the BinaxNOW fast antigen take a look at detects omicron with a sensitivity just like that noticed for prior variants.”

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Nonetheless, the examine discovered that the fast exams missed about 35% of all coronavirus instances confirmed with PCR exams with any stage of viral load.

The researchers recommend that repeat testing be executed for individuals who initially take a look at detrimental on fast exams, saying that “individuals who’ve low ranges of virus detectable on PCR however not antigen take a look at could also be both on the upswing or downswing” of their an infection.

As not too long ago as Tuesday, FDA appearing Commissioner Janet Woodcock repeated considerations about fast exams and the omicron variant throughout a Senate listening to.

“We consider all of them detect omicron,” she mentioned of the at-home fast exams. “We merely really feel they’re considerably much less delicate than they had been to among the earlier variants.”

A current small examine discovered that at-home antigen coronavirus exams might miss omicron instances “for a number of days” whereas an individual is contaminated.

The examine, which additionally has not been peer reviewed, discovered that on common, it took three days after an individual’s first constructive PCR take a look at for the fast antigen take a look at to additionally present a constructive consequence. It discovered 4 instances during which people transmitted the virus to others whereas nonetheless testing detrimental on fast exams.

However that isn’t to say fast exams don’t work. The examine discovered that in each case fast exams did finally present up constructive – it simply took longer than with the PCR exams.

PCR exams, which might detect even hint quantities of the virus, have lengthy been thought of the “gold customary” of coronavirus testing. However it may well take days to get the lab outcomes, whereas fast exams can flip round ends in simply quarter-hour.

Specialists say that fast exams are an vital instrument because the U.S. sees document coronavirus instances, however a testing scarcity within the U.S. is stopping many from accessing the at-home exams. The Biden administration is planning to ship the primary cargo of a complete of 500 million COVID-19 exams on to People later this month. In the meantime, beginning Saturday, personal well being insurers shall be required to cowl as much as eight house COVID-19 exams monthly beneath a coverage President Joe Biden announced final month.

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