WASHINGTON -- Months into the coronavirus pandemic there are still unanswered questions about the accuracy of tests used to screen Americans.
Experts say more data is needed on critical issues, including how many infections tests may be missing.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized scores of tests based on a small number of lab studies.
Experts say those measures doesn’t capture how tests perform when used on patients and could contribute to new viral flare-ups due to missed infections.
The FDA says its standards are lower due to the current emergency but it has asked some test makers for additional information.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.