Gottleib: What we need now are rapid tests like the ones for flu or strep…

Geez, haven’t we been saying that for weeks?
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Dr. Scott Gottleib is a former head of the FDA.

In a WSJ columns, Gottleib observes:

Everyone thought we’d be in a better place after weeks of sheltering in place and bringing the economy to a near standstill.

Mitigation hasn’t failed; social distancing and other measures have slowed the spread.

But the halt hasn’t brought the number of new cases and deaths down as much as expected or stopped the epidemic from expanding.

What’s the key to getting the virus under control?

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Gottleib says:

The public needs better diagnostic tests to make screening for Covid-19 inexpensive and routine.

This is where medical progress has been slow.

The current testing platforms can only run so many tests each day, and issues like transporting samples are precluding quick turnarounds.

  • English translation: low throughput capacity and long turnaround times.

What’s needed now is the equivalent of the rapid flu and strep tests available in a doctor’s office.

These tests look for antigens that the pathogen produces, which betray its presence in blood and saliva.

Antigen tests are less precise than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, but they enable fast and widespread testing with fast turnaround times..

The government needs to rush development of these technologies and work with manufacturers to increase capacity.

I hate to say that “I told you so”, but…

One Response to “Gottleib: What we need now are rapid tests like the ones for flu or strep…”

  1. Dixie Catlett Says:

    We couldn’t agree more!

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