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Please cease placing COVID-19 check answer in your eyes and nostril, FDA says

Enlarge / A girl takes a swab as a part of a COVID-19 antigen speedy check.

The Meals and Drug Administration is alerting Individuals to the potential risks of at-home COVID-19 assessments after receiving experiences of individuals egregiously misusing them, leading to accidents.

In a security communication launched Friday, the FDA stated it had acquired experiences of accidents after folks used the kits’ liquid check answer as eye drops or caught the answer up their noses. “The liquid check answer is just not supposed to the touch your physique,” the FDA wrote sternly. The company additionally reported that some youngsters had been injured after placing check parts of their mouths and swallowing the answer.

“The liquid options might embody chemical substances, reminiscent of sodium azide, that assist the check work correctly or act as preservatives,” the FDA wrote. “The check chemical compounds may be irritating or poisonous in the event that they get in your pores and skin, nostril, or eyes or if they’re swallowed.”

At-home assessments all have barely completely different protocols, however they usually contain combining a check answer and nasal swab samplings on a check card. In Abbott’s standard BinaxNow check, for instance, individuals are instructed to place six drops of a check answer onto a testing card. Then test-takers swab their noses, insert the swab into the primed check card, seal the cardboard, and wait quarter-hour for outcomes. Within the iHealth COVID-19 check, test-takers swab their noses, swirl the swab in a check answer, then squeeze three drops of the answer onto a check card and await outcomes.

In accordance with the FDA, some folks have put the check answer onto the swab earlier than swabbing their nostril, ensuing within the check answer being swirled round their nostrils.

It is unclear how many individuals have been injured by these testing snafus or how critical their accidents had been. Nevertheless, the FDA would really like you to cease it. The company recommends that everybody hold their check kits out of attain of pets and babies. When you’re prepared to make use of your package, learn the instructions and comply with them. The company additionally helpfully recommends that you simply “hold the liquid answer away from the pores and skin, nostril, mouth, and eyes. Don’t swallow the liquid answer,” and “use solely the swab within the check package to gather a nasal pattern.”

“FDA licensed at-home COVID-19 assessments have turn into an vital and handy software that folks can use to examine in the event that they or a member of the family are at present contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the regulator notes. They’re additionally completely protected to make use of—once you comply with the instructions.

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