Coronavirus: Access to testing, development of new methods

Five on 2

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – We are now ten days away from the governor’s goal of starting to reopen the state on May 1. Gov. Mike DeWine said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an approval that could boost COVID-19 testing capacity in Ohio.

The FDA approved a new reagent from a company named Thermo Fisher.

“The reagent is necessary because that’s what we utilize to be able to take the sample and be able to detect the viral copies within it when we’re doing a lot of these testing. That’s one of the limitations of being able to run a lot of these tests in the lab. It isn’t just having the nasal swab, it’s actually being able to have the reagent to run the test that allows us to detect that viral particle within each patient,” said Dr. Roberto Colon with Miami Valley Hospital.

North Carolina-based LabCorp announced Tuesday that it has received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for at-home COVID-19 test kits

“It’s really going to be pushing the test out into the community rather than having patients have to come into a central location. The thing that we have to be very careful with has to do with how that sample is collected. We know that if the sample is not collected from the nasal mucosa adequately, we may not be able to detect the virus,” said Dr. Colon.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center launched a new clinical trial for coronavirus patients involving the inhalation of nitric oxide.

“It can open up the blood vessels, it causes vasodilation, it’s been used for a long time to be able to help with ventilation and, really, oxygenation, getting oxygen into the blood vessels for patients who have a lot of different lung or cardiac conditions,” Dr. Colon said.

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