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New 5-Minute COVID-19 Tests Should Reach Hospitals Soon

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Medical device-maker Abbott Laboratories created a test that can detect the highly-contagious, deadly COVID-19 virus in about five minutes, Bloomberg reports.

Approximately 50,000 tests will be shipped out daily to American hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers beginning on Wednesday, according to the report. The test can detect high-levels of the COVID-19 genome in a matter of minutes and can pick up lower levels in about 13 minutes.

The tests are described as small and portable and involve a swab being swiped in a person's nose or throat, mixing the swab with a chemical, and then inserting it into a contraption called the ID Now System.

The U.S. Food and Drug administration gave emergency approval to the tests last week, as the Trump administration has struggled to provide enough tests to meet needs. Currently, testing for the respiratory virus is mostly reserved for those with symptoms and considered high-risk, like the elderly, people living with cancer, those with HIV, and smokers. Test results for many patients have taken days, if not weeks, to come back.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were nearly 175,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, with over 3,400 deaths reported, according to The New York Times.

Tags: News, COVID-19

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