Please stop putting COVID-19 test solution in your eyes and nostril, FDA says

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

The Food and Drug Administration is alerting Americans to the potential risks of at-home COVID-19 exams after receiving reviews of individuals egregiously misusing them, ensuing in accidents.

In a safety communication released Friday, the FDA mentioned it had obtained reviews of accidents after folks used the kits’ liquid test solution as eye drops or caught the solution up their noses. “The liquid test solution is not supposed to touch your body,” the FDA wrote sternly. The company additionally reported that some youngsters had been injured after putting test elements in their mouths and swallowing the solution.

“The liquid solutions may include chemical ingredients, such as sodium azide, that help the test work properly or act as preservatives,” the FDA wrote. “The test chemicals can be irritating or toxic if they get on your skin, nose, or eyes or if they are swallowed.”

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

According to the FDA, some folks have put the test solution onto the swab earlier than swabbing their nostril, ensuing in the test solution being swirled round their nostrils.

It’s clear how many individuals have been injured by these testing snafus or how critical their accidents had been. However, the FDA would love you to stop it. The company recommends that everybody hold their test kits out of attain of pets and babies. Once you are prepared to make use of your package, learn the instructions and comply with them. The company additionally helpfully recommends that you simply “keep the liquid solution away from the skin, nose, mouth, and eyes. Do not swallow the liquid solution,” and “use only the swab in the test kit to collect a nasal sample.”

“FDA authorized at-home COVID-19 tests have become an important and convenient tool that people can use to check if they or a family member are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the regulator grades. They’re additionally completely protected to make use of whenever you comply with the instructions.


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