(NewsReady.com) – Omicron is like the Oprah of COVID-19 variants; you get some Omicron, they get some Omicron, everybody is getting some Omicron. All jokes aside, the variant is spreading rapidly across the US, and the diagnostic tool used to detect it isn’t working very well.
As Americans took their Christmas decorations down and prepared for the new year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning. The antigen tests that have been used throughout the pandemic are not as effective for Omicron. A statement from the agency revealed the tests do detect the variant, but they “may have reduced sensitivity.”
From the FDA:
“Early data suggests that antigen tests do detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity.”
Seems to fit the early data suggesting that antigen take longer to test positive for Omicron than Delta.https://t.co/m147jvulCo
— Nathan Grubaugh (@NathanGrubaugh) December 29, 2021
The Omicron variant’s inception led to long test lines around the country. Although infections are up as the highly transmissible virus sweeps the country, patients are experiencing milder symptoms. Many Americans describe the infection as a bad winter cold. They’re reporting a cough, runny nose, sore throat, and other mild symptoms. Additionally, those who contract the virus are a lot less likely to end up in the hospital.
The FDA’s statement about the antigen tests recommends that people who test negative, but have been exposed or have symptoms, retest in a couple of days. As their viral load increases, the tests become more accurate.
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