The coronavirus test kits distributed to various U.S. states and 30 other countries by the U.S. Centers for disease control may not work, and are feared to deliver results that are at best 'inconclusive,' officials said today.
In the United States, 13 cases of the infection in patients have been confirmed so far. An estimated 850 evacuees who are American have quarantined at military bases after flying from China. Others are self-quarantining at home.
From the New York Times:
The kits were meant to enable states to conduct their own testing and get results faster than they would by shipping samples to the C.D.C. in Atlanta. But the failure of the kits means that states still have to depend on the C.D.C., which will mean several days' delay in getting results.
The C.D.C. announced last week that it had begun shipping about 200 kits to laboratories in the United States and roughly 200 more to labs in more than 30 other countries. Each kit can test about 700 to 800 specimens from patients, the agency said.
On trial runs in some states, the kits produced results that were "inconclusive," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
"Things may not always go as smoothly as we may like," Dr. Messonnier said.
PHOTO: CDC.GOV, the tests now seen as flawed:
This is a picture of CDC's laboratory test kit for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). CDC is shipping the test kits to laboratories CDC has designated as qualified, including U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. The test kits are bolstering global laboratory capacity for detecting 2019-nCov.