The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved the first at-home test that tells the common flu from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This test kit was innovated by the California biotech company – Lucira Health. It is a fast-test kit that requires only a self-procured nasal swab to confirm your COVID status in just half an hour.
The test kit can be made available over the counter to adults and teenagers above 14 years of age. This kit can also be used for testing children. What more?
This new COVID-flu test kit has shown 99% accuracy in detecting influenza A and exhibits a 90% sensitivity. For COVID-19 test results, the sensitivity is 100% (for negative samples), and the accuracy rate is 88%.
The accuracy rate for influenza B negative samples was 100%. Real-world test data are awaited for influenza B – to determine the accuracy and sensitivity in such cases.
However, evidence suggests that at-home test kits render less accurate results than lab tests due to procedural errors in conducting such tests.
At-home test kits for COVID-19 and flu can be useful as both illnesses require symptomatic relief but may warrant different medications. Further, prompt diagnosis, treatment, and care are keys to managing such ailments.
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