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Home testing for syphilis gains support in wake of COVID

With cases of sexually transmitted infections growing, researchers hope self-tests — made popular by the pandemic — could stem the tide.

Global cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been on the rise in some countries. Even the COVID-19 pandemic — which locked down life in many ways — hasn’t halted the trend. In April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the first year of the pandemic saw 133,945 cases of syphilis, a 52% increase since 2016 (see ‘Resurgence’).

And this is probably an underestimate, the CDC says, given that health-care clinics had to limit in-person visits at the start of the pandemic, and STI surveillance programmes found their resources shifted elsewhere. The situation sparked a push for at-home tests for syphilis and other STIs.

Read more.

 

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Detecting COVID-19 & Influenza in sweat biomarkers

University of Texas at Dallas bioengineers in collaboration with EnLiSense LLC have designed a wearable sensor that can detect two key biomarkers of infection in human sweat, a significant step toward making it possible for users to receive early warnings of infections such as COVID-19 and influenza.

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Nasal spray treats Delta variant infection in mice

Researchers have shown a new compound delivered in a nasal spray is highly effective in preventing and treating COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant in mice.

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At-home Influenza test are comparable to clinical testing.

A new study conducted by UW school of medicine showed that at-home flu testing results are comparable to clinincal testing.

The study was conducted on 600 Seattle-area residents participated in the 2020 study between February and the end of May. The researchers determined that sensitivity and specificity of the self-test were comparable with those of influenza rapid diagnostic tests used in clinical settings. False-negative results were more common when the self-test was administered after 72 hours of the appearance of symptoms, but were not related to inadequate swab collection or severity of illness.

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FDA Warning: Don’t use the following at-home tests

What brands of at-home tests are we not suppose to use and why?

  • ACON Laboratories “Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing)”.This test is packaged in a dark-blue box. This at-home test has not been authorized, cleared or approved by the FDA for distribution and use in the United States.

  • SD Biosensor Inc. “STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test”. This test may be packaged in a white and magenta box. Officials at the FDA are concerned that this at-home test has a risk of false results when using the test.

  • Celltrion DiaTrust “COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test”. The green-and-white packaged tests. This at-home test has not been authorized, cleared or approved but the FDA for distribution and use in the US.

Source.

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Many Free At-home tests still not claimed.

According to AP, more than half of the 500 Million free at-home tests provided by the U.S. Government remain unclaimed.

COVIDtests.gov received over 45 million orders. Now officials say fewer than 100,000 orders a day are coming in for the packages of four free rapid tests per household, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.” Dr. Tom Inglesby, testing adviser to the COVID-19 response team, told The Associated Press

The tests that are being sent out have roughly 6 months expiry unless CDC gives extenstion.

If you have not claimed one, claim it. You will have a buffer if another variation of Covid-19 picks up.

 

 

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At-Home Blood clotting test using your smart phone

What kind of at-home test is this?

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new blood-clotting test that uses only a single drop of blood and a smartphone vibration motor and camera. The system includes a plastic attachment that holds a tiny cup beneath the phone’s camera

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Lab in a backpack – Simple and Cheap Covid19 testing

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have created a simple Covid-19 testing lab that fits into a backpack providing a cheap and effective solution for low income or remote areas.

lab in a backpack Covid-19 testing kit
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Bridge between Antigen and PCR Covid-19 at-home test, U.S invention.

This week there was a chip that was developed by researchers in Taiwan that bridged the gap between Antigen and PCR testing at-home by providing a faster but reliable results to testers. Why should we be left behind? here come the University of Washington Researchers along with Professor Barry Lutz who have developed a new test for COVID-19 that combines the speed of over-the-counter antigen tests with the accuracy of PCR tests that are processed in medical labs and hospitals.

“We designed the test to be low-cost and simple enough that it could be used anywhere,” said Barry Lutz, a UW associate professor of bioengineering and investigator with the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine. “We hope that the low cost will make high-performance testing more accessible locally and around the world.”

So how long does this test take to give results?

“This test operates at a constant temperature, so it eliminates the time to heat and cool and gives results in about 30 minutes,” said Lutz.

How does this test work?

Tests based on PCR or polymerase chain reaction are highly accurate, a key limitation is that PCR tests require dozens of cycles of heating and cooling to detect genetic material in a sample.This test developed by the UW team sidesteps this issue by relying on a PCR-like method known as RT-LAMP, which doesn’t have the same stringent temperature-cycling requirements.

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Unboxing the Covid-19 At-home test from our government.

The At-Home test supplied by our government

We received the free at-home covid-19 test that was promised by President Biden on his December 21st 2021 speech.

The website covidtests.gov went live on January 13, 2022 where you could fill in a form that was hosted on USPS site which promised to deliver 4 at home test kits per family.

Here is what it looks like.

at-home test Top of the box
at-home test top view

All easy to understand language with a support number to call in case of questions. Manufactured and Expiry dates is also displayed. This particular case it’s 6 months.

at-home test box bottom view
at-home test box bottom view

This particular test was manufactured by SD Biosensor in Republic of Korea and distributed by Roche Diagnostics in Indiana.

at-home test box back
at-home test box back view

Backview displays storage information and contents in English and Spanish.

at-home test box side
at-home test box side vide

Side view displays COVID-19 At-Home Test and the distributor name Roche and number of kits in the box.

at-home test box contents
at-home test box contents

Inside the box you get

  • Quick reference instructions in English only.
  • 4 Test Devices marked 1
  • 4 Steril Swabs
  • 4 Tubes with Liquid, marked 2
  • 1 Nozzle cap inside package marked 2
  • 1 Tube Holder.

All items are packed neatly inside a 6″ x 5″ box