Which test is best for COVID-19?

Now that we’re several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, steps we need to take to effectively control the outbreak have become clear: conscientious prevention measures like handwashing and distancing, widespread testing with quick turnaround times, and contact tracing. None of these is easy to maintain over a prolonged period. But combined, they are our best bets while awaiting better treatments and an effective vaccine. So, which tests to use? The many types of tests available are sowing considerable confusion. Unfortunately, because this novel coronavirus is indeed novel, and COVID-19 is a new disease, information about these tests is incomplete and the options for testing keep changing. But here’s what we know now about tests designed to diagnose a current infection, and those that show whether you previously had the virus. Diagnostic tests for current infection If you want to know if you are currently infected with the COVID-19 virus, there are two types of tests: molecular tests and antigen testing. Molecular tests (also called PCR tests, viral RNA tests, nucleic acid tests) How is it done?  Nasal swabs, throat swabs, and tests of saliva or other bodily fluids. Where can you get this test?  At a hospital, in a medical office, in your car, or even at home. What does the test look for?  Molecular tests look for genetic material that comes only from the virus. How long does it take to get results?  It depends on lab capacity. Results may be ...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Coronavirus and COVID-19 Health Tests and procedures Source Type: blogs

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a preliminary framework for the global allocation of COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. The plan is intended to guide policymakers at the global, regional, and national level in their allocation and prioritization decisions about vaccines. WHO’s “fair allocation mechanism” emphasizes equitable allocation of vaccines and lists groups of people that should have priority access. The plan proposes vaccine distribution in two phases. In the first phase, all countries would receive vaccine doses in proportion to their population size - initially enoug...
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