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Virus tests are dropped as death



(Newser)
– Tests in the United States for coronavirus are failing, even when infections remain high and deaths rise by more than 1,000 a day, a worrying trend that officials attribute largely to Americans, who are discouraged from having to wait hours to get a test and days or weeks to find out the results. An AP analysis found that the number of tests per day has slipped 3.6% over the past two weeks to 750,000, declining in 22 states. This includes places such as Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Iowa, where the percentage of positive tests is high and continues to rise, indicating that the virus is still spreading uncontrollably. Widespread testing is considered critical to controlling the epidemic, as the United States is approaching 5 million confirmed mammoth infections and more than 1

56,000 deaths from more than 700,000 worldwide.

Against the backdrop of the crisis, some health officials are calling for the introduction of a different type of test that will give results in minutes and be cheap and simple enough for millions of Americans to test – but will also be less accurate. “There’s a sense of despair that we need to do something else,” said Dr. Ashish Ja, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. A number of companies are studying the COVID-19 antigen tests, in which you spit on a specially coated strip of paper and if you are infected, it changes color. A proposal from Harvard researchers calls on the federal government to distribute $ 1 saliva-based antigen tests to all Americans so that they can be tested regularly, perhaps even daily.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)




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