Nebraska health workers respond to new COVID and flu test

HASTINGS, Neb. (Nebraska) – A new tool to fight COVID-19 and the flu has just been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Lucira Health test is the first home version to receive FDA approval. Health professionals are excited about the possibilities, but understanding the test can be a downside.

“This is something that people can buy and use at home,” said Teresa Anderson, director of the Central District Health Department. “If they are unwell, they do not need to go outside, they can check it at home. The test is quite accurate. It’s pretty expensive.”

Cost is where the downside comes in: At $99, the test isn’t the most affordable. One health worker said the new COVID test is just one piece of a larger puzzle to help ensure quality access to health care, regardless of income.

“Those at highest risk of poor outcomes unfortunately often have the least access to the care they need, and so this is one of the societal challenges we face and the pandemic has sort of shoved us in the face. a little more,” said primary care physician Dr. Michael D. Schoff.

The hope is that when supply meets demand, prices for these home flu and COVID tests will start to drop.

“I think we will see more and I don’t think it will be just with this company, I think there are other companies working on this technology that will also reduce the cost of home testing.” — Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan . , said CHI Health’s chief of infectious diseases. “I predict that we will have more home testing for viruses and other infections in the near future.”

The Lucira COVID and Flu test is currently sold through the company’s website, but no local retailer sells the product yet.

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