The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EAU) for the first over-the-counter (OTC) at-home test that can detect influenza (flu) and COVID-19. Created by Lucira Health, this test can be self-administered via nasal swab and provide results in 30 minutes.
This single-use test is for individuals who have symptoms of a respiratory tract infection or COVID-19. Notably, the Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test can be purchased without a prescription and administered by those ages 14 and older. Adults can administer the test to individuals 2 years of age or older.
In a clinical study, the test correctly identified 99.3% of negative and 90% of positive Influenza A samples, 100% of negative and 88.3% of positive COVID-19 samples, and 99.9% of negative Influenza B samples. However, with the lack of Influenza B in circulation, not enough evidence was available to include in the study. Lucira will continue to collect samples to study the test’s ability to detect Influenza B.
Please note that false positive and negative test results can occur when using an at-home test for the flu and COVID-19, so it’s recommended to follow up with a physician and take steps to prevent the spread of illness.
The at-home COVID-19 & Flu test has many advantages, including:
- Quicker diagnosis. At-home testing removes the time and effort it takes to schedule and attend an appointment.
- The ability to receive proper treatment faster. If the test detects influenza or COVID-19, you can be prescribed the proper medication from your physician faster. Many medications are time sensitive, so the earlier the diagnosis the better.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the importance of making testing more accessible. With the release of the at-home COVID-19 and flu test, new at-home tests are in development for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and strep throat.
As more information is made available regarding testing and healthcare accessibility improvements, Creative Benefits, Inc. will continue to make updates.