UK to deploy home test kits to test for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies

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An announcement by Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England (PHE), at the science and technology committee meeting held today, explained how the screening kits at homes of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies would soon be distributed to the British population. . At the conference, Peacock said 3.5 million kits have already been purchased, with millions more to order, and that they will be available for free or at minimal cost.

There are two types of test kits for the pathogen SARS-CoV-2. The first antigen tests to inform us whether or not a patient has an active disease. This is mainly controlled by nasal swabs from people suspected of having COVID-19. The second test looks for specific antibodies, signs of an immune response to the disease that reveals whether or not a person has already been infected. You cannot test for antibodies until the symptoms have subsided for at least seven days.

The UK is currently targeting a target of 25,000 antigen tests per day by April 25, allowing faster diagnosis of a wider range of patients, as current strict supplies mean that tests must be carefully allocated to those who need it most. These tests take almost a day for the results to return, depending on the time taken to transport the sample, but a new test being rolled out to the public would only take 15 minutes.

“We are developing a home test kit so that sick people can be tested for antibodies,” said Professor Peacock at the conference. “If this test is positive, they can then go out and return to work. A small number of tests have arrived for evaluation and these are currently in Oxford. They will be assessed quickly… ”

The home test kit uses a blood prick much like a blood glucose monitor to analyze a patient’s blood. To help pinch fingers and interpret results, tests are likely to be available at pharmacies such as Boots, and Amazon is moving forward to help deliver kits to the home of self-insulating individuals. actively due to symptoms. .

Peacock told MEPs that testing still requires final testing before being released for distribution: “This test for the test is a small affair and I anticipate it will be done by the end of this week. When pushed if the tests would be available next week, Peacock replied, “I think I would be a little less categorical about the date,” but agreed that it would be a matter of days rather than month.

It is unclear whether an individual can obtain COVID-19 twice, with some anecdotal reports suggesting it is possible and other experiments with rhesus macaques suggesting that it is unlikely.

You can watch the entire question and answer session with Professor Sharon Peacock by visiting this link and going to 13.01.19.

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