Coronavirus testing methods: What experts are saying

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three methods of coronavirus testing. Some private labs want to make these tests available at home.

How, where, and when do you get tested for coronavirus? Answers to these questions have revealed themselves with time.

“Private companies, corporations and coalitions have come together to begin producing more specimen collection kits,” said Dr. Lawton Davis Director of the Coastal Health District. “Also to increase through-put in laboratories and we are beginning to see the fruits of those efforts.”the most common and accurate way to find out if you’re infected is through a nose or throat swab.

Dr. Davis with tells WSAV News 3 that getting this test in Georgia is a lot easier now than it was two weeks ago.

“Anyone who is symptomatic you know who has symtoms compatible with COVID-19 can be tested,” said Davis. “They can be tested by their personal, private healthcare provider or they can be referred to us by their healthcare provider.

Other methods include testing your salivia. Some labs also perform serological tests which look for antibodies proteins produced by the immune system’s response to the virus. This method has provisional approval from the FDA.

“Some of those tests cross react with other coronavirus antibodies and so it may say you are positive, but it may be from one of those four common coronaviruses that just causes the common cold,” said Davis.

Private companies are also trying to make sample collection at home a reality. None of these have been FDA approved and Davis said for good reason.

“We have no control over how careful one is when they collect those specimens and without those tests being validated or vetted with fairly rigorous testing criteria I don’t know what they mean,” said Davis.

FDA approval for new tests can take years but in the case of a Pandemic an “emergency use authorization” could be issued to speed up the process.

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