First authorized over-the-counter antigen test

The Panbio™ Covid-19 antigen self-test, developed by the Abbott company, already has the authorization of the Ministry of Public Health, becoming the first method of detecting the disease accredited for free sale, without a prescription, in different chains of pharmacy.

The autotest constitutes a lateral flow assay for the rapid and qualitative detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. To develop this procedure, a nasal swab is used to collect the sample. Test results are delivered in as little as 15 minutes.

Following the steps indicated in the instructions for use that come in the box, after taking the sample with the nasal swab, the user must process this sample by depositing part of it in the detection device. The test provides results in 15 minutes and does not require additional instruments to the elements that come in the kit.

In clinical evaluations, the test correctly identified 95.2% of positive samples and 100% of negative samples, said Dr. Óscar Guerra, Abbott’s medical director, during the self-test presentation.

Dr. José Fusillo, former president of the Paraguayan Society of Pulmonology and head of the Ineram Contingency Pavilion, recalled that so far more than 650,000 people have already been infected by Covid-19 in our country, while unfortunately almost 19,000 have lost their lives. in the wake of the virus.

“We have a mortality rate of 3%. Although it is within the Latin American context, it is a very high percentage, ”she stressed.

Along the same lines, Fusillo highlighted that more than 10% of those infected with Covid-19 were hospitalized and, although it seems like a tiny percentage, this number of patients “destroyed” the health system, exceeding the limit of its care capacity.

“Not even in the Chaco War had he been so stressed, because we didn’t have the necessary number of therapy beds. The health context forced us to improvise, in a context of war”, he stressed.

Currently, with the availability of vaccines and a variety of treatments, early diagnosis remains essential to have the chain of transmission of the virus.

“We need to insist on early diagnosis, to quickly cut the chain of infections. Although a vaccinated patient is less contagious, he is still contagious. Vaccines have been very helpful in reducing hospitalizations and deaths, but have failed to reduce infection. It doesn’t give us superpowers,” she maintained.

Thus, the pulmonologist highlighted the existence of antigen tests such as the Panbio™ Covid-19 self-test that “give results in 15 minutes” and “have significant effectiveness.”

These kinds of tests should be done during the first three days of symptoms, Fusillo recommended. “The rapid tests have a sensitivity that goes from practically the beginning of the symptoms and they also reach their effectiveness during the first 48 hours,” he explained.

In addition, the specialist highlighted the importance of carrying out at least telematic consultations after obtaining a positive home result and informing the Ministry of Health to obtain the corresponding records.

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