How over-the-counter COVID-19 tests could ease family gatherings this holiday season – Community News
Covid-19

How over-the-counter COVID-19 tests could ease family gatherings this holiday season

SAN ANTONIO – Add over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits to your shopping list this holiday season, along with pumpkin pie and turkey. Medical experts say the tests could help ensure the virus doesn’t spread during family gatherings.

Eric Tate visits family during the holidays. After some research, he decided that over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits were a good investment before those trips.

“My grandmother is there and we want to make sure we test negative before visiting her. So I bought some tests for that reason,” he said.

dr. Ruth Berggren, an infectious disease specialist at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, says home COVID-19 testing is a good extra safety measure to have around.

“If that positive test keeps you from getting on a bus, plane or train — or visiting a loved one in the hospital — that’s a really good thing,” Berggren said.

Advertisement

She says the tests aren’t perfect. Testing before symptoms appear can result in a false negative.

“If you have a positive test, you can believe that. If you have a negative test, it’s not that reliable,” Berggren said.

Accuracy depends on how strong the symptoms are and how well you follow the directions. Some tests are about 85% accurate, while others are lower.

The FDA has approved about a dozen over-the-counter tests, some with results within 15 minutes. Children from 2 years old can be tested.

Users are advised to contact their physician after testing.

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

About the author

Rakesh

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment