The Omicron variant can survive longer than earlier versions of the coronavirus on plastic surfaces and human skin, Japanese researchers found in laboratory tests. Additionally, new research shows users of rapid antigen tests to detect COVID-19 should swab their nostrils as directed by the manufacturer and not swab the throat or cheek instead.
Swabbing the nose with a rapid antigen test will not reliably detect the Omicron variant in the first few days of an infection, so manufacturers should seek U.S. approval to allow users to safely collect samples from the throat as well, according to an infectious diseases expert.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the first over-the-counter Covid-19 antigen test, which can be used at home.
Silicon Valley medical equipment startup Visby Medical received Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a portable PCR Covid-19 test kit, the first company to do so, according to the FDA.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized at-home sample collection for LabCorp’s COVID-19 diagnostic kit, allowing patients to send in their nasal swab samples to the company’s labs for diagnosis.