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COVID Tests Slow- Chemical Shortage
By Micah Halpern

Sunday April 5, 2020

I've Been Thinking:

COVID-19 testing should be at its peak – and yet it is slowing down.

Why? How can that be? The increased availability of test kits and the institution of self testing has resulted in a dramatic shift, allowing hospitals and doctors to test many more people than they could several weeks ago.

BUT there is now a shortage of reagents. In other words, labs that run the tests do not have the chemicals needed to stabilize the virus and evaluate the test.
That’s why. That’s how.

The reagent in this case is Guanidine Thiocynate. The compound is known as GITC - it renders the virus safe and allows the tester to focus on the RNA and run the coronavirus test.

Weeks ago, when Israel saw that they were running low, a lab at the Rabin Medical Center started to find an alternative. After all, they reckoned, GITC is a chemical – maybe they could they make a facsimile. They now think that they have succeeded.

This past week, as Israel ran low of the reagent, testing in Israel has been dropping. Hopefully, if the facsimile reagent is successful, those testing numbers will once again be able to rise.

This alternative could be critical in the continued fight against COVID-19.

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6 April 2020 09:32 AM in Thoughts

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