FDA approves cheaper, faster saliva-based COVID-19 test

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Monday, August 17, 2020
FDA approves cheaper, faster saliva-based COVID-19 test
This is definitely a relief for those dreading the nasal test! Click play to hear more about the "game changing" new test from ABC13's Brhe Berry.

Faster results could be coming for COVID-19 testing as the Food and Drug Administration recently green-lit a new test that some are calling a game changer.

The new SalivaDirect test is cheaper and faster than its predecessors, determining results in less than three hours.

SalivaDirect screening tests could be a major breakthrough in the fight to flatten the curve, costing just $10 compared to some current tests that go for $150.

The FDA just granted emergency use of the tests being developed by Yale's School of Public Health.

SEE ALSO: First COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers describe experience, symptoms

With a trial for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine set to begin in the Bay Area this month, we talked to some of the first people in the U.S. who've tried a vaccine. One volunteer in Seattle said she's felt "fantastic" since being injected in March.

The saliva method skips pulling out the virus's genetic material, which is what costs more and takes more time.

Instead, the saliva is broken down with an enzyme and applied heat.

The NBA helped fund the development for the test and even used it to test for asymptomatic carriers.

"I think it will take weeks, if not longer, for this test to become more widely available," Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University said. "But as it comes online, I think people will like it much better than the more intrusive nasal swab test."

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