FDA gets approval for rapid saliva COVID-19 test

A Healthy You

It’s called SalivaDirect – a test to detect current COVID-19 infections that’s touted as quick and inexpensive.

“Saliva is going to be way faster, safer and more comfortable to use as a sample type so this is really going to be huge in increasing the testing capacity,” Chantal Vogles, a post doctoral fellow at Yale School of Public Health and one of the leaders on the team that developed the test, said.

The FDA gave emergency approval. The test has been found to be highly sensitive, giving similar outcomes to swabbing.

It doesn’t require the extraction kits that have been in short supply.

Researchers expect labs to charge about $10 per sample with results yielded in under three hours.

Former Harvard medical professor William Haseltine says it’s simple.

“This test is one good step toward ultimately what we would and could have and should have now which are very rapid tests. All you do is you put a little bit of saliva on something equivalent to a pregnancy test,” he said.

Yale researchers say labs could get equipment and perform the test using their instructions.

It doesn’t require any of Yale’s equipment and can use a variety of available testing materials.

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