How to make sure your COVID test isn't fake - CNET

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COVID-19 location  investigating  kit Stephen Shankland/CNET

For the astir up-to-date quality and accusation astir the coronavirus pandemic, sojourn the WHO and CDC websites.

The opening of 2022 has felt a batch similar March 2020 successful immoderate ways -- but alternatively of scrambling to find a face mask, present we're each scrambling to find COVID-19 tests. With lawsuit rates soaring from the omicron variant, getting tested is of the utmost value to dilatory the spread, and yet uncovering a trial has possibly ne'er been much hard and inconvenient. That's existent adjacent for PCR tests, which are typically what you'll get astatine a pharmacy oregon doctor's office. But it's adjacent much existent for at-home antigen tests, besides known arsenic accelerated tests.

Amid debased banal and confusing guidance astir free trial availability, immoderate buyers person turned to online oregon secondhand sellers successful bid to find an at-home COVID trial quickly. That leads to a 2nd issue: counterfeit oregon fraudulent tests. 

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration warned radical against utilizing tests from LuSys Laboratories, besides sold nether the names Luscient Diagnostics, Vivera Pharmaceuticals oregon EagleDx. These tests apt person a "high hazard of mendacious results," the FDA believes. But that's not the lone marque you request to avoid.

If you deliberation you mightiness beryllium stuck with a fake trial oregon conscionable privation to forestall aboriginal trickery, here's what you should cognize astir avoiding fake COVID-19 tests.

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Shop from trusted retailers

Your archetypal enactment of extortion against fake tests is choosing a trusted retailer. Chain retailers similar CVS and Walgreens bash not banal fraudulent products of immoderate kind, whether look masks oregon location trial kits.

You tin besides find location COVID-19 tests astatine section pharmacies, hardware stores, big-box stores similar Target oregon Walmart, oregon aesculapian proviso stores. All of these are trustworthy places to shop, whether in-person oregon online.

Amazon, connected the different hand, tin beryllium a spot Wild West-like astatine times, since determination are thousands of sellers who database products there. And if you're buying connected eBay, Craigslist, societal media oregon different online sellers, you're acold much susceptible to fraud unless you cognize precisely what you're looking for (and however to store safely).

Soon, you volition beryllium capable to petition COVID tests connected an authoritative authorities website, arsenic portion of the Biden-Harris administration's pledge to deliver 500 cardinal location tests to Americans for free. That portal won't beryllium up and moving until aboriginal successful January.

Read more: How to find an at-home COVID-19 trial today

Only bargain FDA-authorized brands

The US Food and Drug Administration is successful complaint of authorizing COVID-19 tests for location use, with much than 40 location tests making the chopped truthful far. To debar fakes, you should lone bargain tests that are connected the FDA's list

Some communal brands that are FDA-authorized include:

  • BinaxNow
  • QuickVue
  • FlowFlex
  • iHealth
  • BD Veritor
  • InteliSwab

To marque beingness adjacent easier for you, the FDA besides has a database of fraudulent COVID-19 products that person received informing letters for making mendacious claims and misleading consumers. Do a quick hunt of your COVID trial connected this database to guarantee that it's not connected the database of fraudulent products.

Note that COVID-19 trial kits bash expire aft respective months oregon successful immoderate cases up to a year. Make definite that your trial has not passed its expiration date.

at-home-rapid-test-kit-covid-19-2022-cnet-shortage-find002 Sarah Tew/CNET

Shop online safely

If you find yourself turning to little well-vetted online suppliers, store safely to debar getting scammed.

First, look up the seller connected Google to spot if you tin find immoderate credible accusation oregon reviews. Make definite to adhd the keyword "scam" oregon "review" to your hunt for much targeted results. On sites similar Amazon oregon eBay, it's besides bully signifier to cheque reviews and click connected the seller's sanction for much info. 

If you bash marque a purchase, usage a recognition paper truthful that you tin quality the complaint if necessary. Do not participate immoderate outgo accusation connected third-party sites. 

We don't urge buying secondhand tests from individuals connected marketplaces similar Facebook oregon Craigslist. While reselling tests is legal, selling trial kits is prohibited connected Facebook, the institution told CNN Business (and the aforesaid goes for Instagram, which is owned by Facebook). And successful general, buying from unauthorized individuals leaves you much susceptible to fraud -- there's nary existent mode to vet the seller, and you can't precisely inquire for a refund if things don't enactment out. Not to mention, unauthorized sellers' tests won't beryllium escaped oregon eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement, arsenic different trial kits volition beryllium starting Jan. 15, per the Biden-Harris administration's plan.

The accusation contained successful this nonfiction is for acquisition and informational purposes lone and is not intended arsenic wellness oregon aesculapian advice. Always consult a doc oregon different qualified wellness supplier regarding immoderate questions you whitethorn person astir a aesculapian information oregon wellness objectives.

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