‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response

The standards had been so strict that the sick man in the Seattle space who had visited Wuhan didn’t meet it. Still, nervous state well being officers pushed to get him checked, and the C.D.C. agreed. Local officers despatched a pattern to Atlanta and the outcomes got here again optimistic.

Officials monitored 70 individuals who had been in contact with the man, together with 50 who consented to getting nostril swabs, and none examined optimistic for the coronavirus. But there was nonetheless the risk that somebody had been missed, stated Dr. Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist for communicable illnesses.

Around this time, the Washington State Department of Health started discussions with the Seattle Flu Study already occurring in the state.

But there was a hitch: The flu mission primarily used analysis laboratories, not scientific ones, and its coronavirus take a look at was not accredited by the Food and Drug Administration. And so the group was not licensed to offer take a look at outcomes to anybody outdoors of their very own investigators. They started discussions with state, C.D.C. and F.D.A. officers to determine an answer, in line with emails and interviews.

Dr. Scott F. Dowell, a former high-ranking C.D.C. official and a present deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds the Seattle Flu Study, requested for assist from the leaders of the C.D.C.’s coronavirus response. “Hoping there is a solution,” he wrote on Feb. 10.

Later, Dr. Lindquist, the state epidemiologist in Washington, wrote an e mail to Dr. Alicia Fry, the chief of the C.D.C.’s epidemiology and prevention department, requesting the examine be used to check for the coronavirus.

C.D.C. officers repeatedly stated it will not be doable. “If you want to use your test as a screening tool, you would have to check with F.D.A.,” Gayle Langley, an officer at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, wrote again in an e mail on Feb. 16. But the F.D.A. couldn’t supply the approval as a result of the lab was not licensed as a scientific laboratory beneath rules established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a course of that would take months.

Source link Nytimes.com

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