Abbott Laboratories Launches 5-Minute Wuhan Virus Test for Use in Nearly All Locations

According to Reuters, Abbott Laboratories recently unveiled a Wuhan virus test that can detect if someone is infected in as few as five minutes.

Additionally, it is small and portable enough to be used in practically all health-care settings.

The medical device manufacturer plans to bring 50,000 test kits to the market starting on April 1, 2020 according to a statement from John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Abbott emergency use authorization “for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings,” according to a company announcement on March 27, 2020.

The U.S. has had problems to supply sufficient amounts of tests to detect the virus, even as the outbreak is straining hospital resources in California, New York, Washington, and other regions.

“This is really going to provide a tremendous opportunity for front-line caregivers, those having to diagnose a lot of infections, to close the gap with our testing,” Frels stated. “A clinic will be able to turn that result around quickly, while the patient is waiting.”

The technology expands upon Illinois-based Abbott’s ID Now platform, the most common point-of-care test currently available in America. The platform has more than 18,000 units spread across the country. It is generally used to detect influenza, strep throat, and respiratory syncytial virus, a common ailment that generally causes cold-like symptoms.

The equipment can generally be used anywhere, but the company is working with its customers and the Trump administration to guarantee that the first cartridges used to carry out the tests are sent to locations where they are most needed. The prime spots include hospital emergency rooms, urgent-care clinics, and doctors’ offices.