A projection shared with US Congress revealed that between 70 and 150 million Americans could eventually be infected with the Novel Coronavirus. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib made these remarks during a hearing of the House of Representatives with members of the president's coronavirus task force while the number of infected people hits 1,663.
Meanwhile, understanding the fact that the US will need more reliable test kits, one of the world's top healthcare institution, Mayo Clinic announced on Thursday that they have developed a test capable of detecting Novel Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 test for Mayo Clinic
The US-based healthcare company began making the test available to its clinicians on Thursday and soon the clinic will start offering the test to others. As reported by Star Tribune the Mayo lab has the ability to handle 200-300 tests per day.
Dr William Morice II, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories said that "This test should help ease some of the burdens that are currently being felt at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health laboratories. We are doing everything we can to help relieve the burden during this time to provide answers for patients here in Rochester and around the world."
Mayo is one of the several organizations that have been working to develop a test for COVID-19 which WHO has declared as a pandemic. The clinic said that now they have the capacity to identify the Novel Coronavirus by using a variety of clinical samples, including nasopharyngeal swabs, throat swabs sputum, bronchoalveolar lavages and bronchial washings.
It should be noted that all the samples will be delivered to the Mayo labs in northwest Rochester for testing. Later, positive samples will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health or CDC for confirmation. As per Dr Matthew Binnicker, a clinical microbiologist and director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic a person will receive his result for the Coronavirus test within 24-hours.
The main symptoms of Novel Coronavirus, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Initially, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended testing only those who had potentially been exposed to the Coronavirus. But on March 4, CDC changed the recommendations to allow anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms to be tested.
Since the number of available tests is limited, the CDC asked doctors to control unnecessary tests and consider a patient's exposure risks before ordering tests. Earlier it was reported that a Stanford Health Care laboratory has created its own Coronavirus or COVID-19 test which is being used on Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health patients who are suspected of being affected by the Novel Coronavirus.
Researchers in Canada are developing a "lab-in-a-box" that could make it cheaper and faster to diagnose cases of the COVID-19 and the scientists said that this new approach will be helpful for suspected patients in remote areas in the world. It should be noted that this new project has received one million dollars from the International Development Research Centre as part of the $27 million in Coronavirus research.