How one can spot a pretend COVID dwelling check equipment


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With the increase in cases of omicron, obtaining a home COVID test kit is becoming increasingly difficult. And amid the shortage, the Federal Trade Commission is warning against marketing fake COVID tests to consumers. « It’s no surprise that, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration, counterfeit and unauthorized home test kits are appearing online as opportunistic scammers take advantage of the surge in demand, » said the FTC. in a report released on January 4th.

In the United States, home COVID tests, most of which are rapid antigenic tests, are only authorized by the FDA after the agency has confirmed that they meet the requirements for safety and efficacy. (You can see the full list of approved tests on the FDA website.) False or unauthorized tests worry experts because there is no way of knowing if they have met these standards, which means they risk misdiagnosing cases of COVID. “Using these counterfeit products isn’t just a waste of money, it increases your risk of unknowingly spreading COVID-19 or not getting the proper treatment,” the FTC said.

To avoid buying a fake, the FTC recommends first crossing your COVID test kit with the FDA’s list of authorized COVID test kits, which include both rapid antigenic tests and molecular PCR tests, and include popular brands such as the Abbott BinaxNow Test and Quidel QuickVue Tests. If your test is not on this list, its use is technically not permitted in the United States and may not provide accurate results.

Keep in mind that just because a test is not authorized in the United States does not mean that it is a real fake. Health agencies in different countries have authorized different tests and not always agree on their accuracy. The best way to make sure you’re getting an accurate test that will be recognized by US-based health agencies is to follow the FDA’s listing.

They also recommend doing your due diligence with retailers selling COVID test kits if you are not buying from a reputable pharmacy or chain store. « Search online for the name of the website, company, or seller, and words like scam, claim, Where reviewAdvises the FTC. Even if nothing suspicious happens, you can still read reviews to learn more about people’s experiences. Finally, the FTC recommends paying for home tests by credit card so that if you buy a fake test, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company.

Even when you’re sure you’ve purchased an authorized test, keep in mind that a negative test result doesn’t guarantee you’re COVID-free, especially in the midst of the omicron wave. As SELF previously reported, emerging research suggests that rapid antigenic tests may not be effective in detecting omicron infections, or at least detecting them fairly quickly. A small study of 30 people working in high risk exposure environments found that rapid tests (including those performed by Abbott and Quidel) were required an average of three days longer than a PCR test to detect the virus. virus.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop testing – just think of home COVID testing kits as a tool in your arsenal against omicron (along with getting boosted and wearing a mask). « Early data suggests antigen tests detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity, » according to the FDA. « Following longstanding FDA recommendations on rapid testing, if a person is negative with an antigen test but is suspected of having COVID-19, such as symptoms or a high likelihood of infection due to ‘exposure, molecular follow-up testing is important in determining COVID-19 infection. « 

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