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Covid-19: all you need to know about self-tests to diagnose the virus – Insurance for Pets

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Guest of the BFM Politics program on Sunday March 14, the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, announced that des autotests covid would be offered for sale « from this week » in supermarkets or pharmacies. « It will be fairly easy to access. The principle of the self-test is precisely that we can have it as a family« , he said. » The real question for me is the scientific evaluation. We cannot allow tests that would give false negatives, or false positives. It is therefore necessary to be certain that these tests are reliable and that the French can have a confirmation of the test. « 

This Tuesday March 16, the High Authority for Health has just given an authorization for its deployment in France. However, it specifies that « monitoring the performance of these tests under real conditions of use is essential. It is up to the competent authorities (ANSM) to determine the modalities for validating the criteria established by the HAS and the post-monitoring conditions. authorization of these tests. « 

« I think that self-tests are the future. There are several and their validation is important, » said Christian Bréchot, virologist and president of the Global Virus Network.

This is an antigen test like those already used in pharmacies (TDR / TROD). The difference lies in the sample, much less invasive for a self-test, since it involves performing a simple nasal sample on your own and not nasopharyngeal.

« You just need to go to the surface of the nose, and not to the bottom of the nasopharynx. The collected sample is then put in a tube which contains an extraction buffer, details at South West Michel Guyon, Marketing Director of Roche Diagnostics France and expert in diagnostic issues related to the health crisis. An antigen / antibody reaction occurs if the virus is present in the patient’s sample, and then shows a colored line which indicates a positive result, after reading the test after 15-20 minutes. « 

Who can use it and when?

HAS recommends its use in the following indications:

  • Societal indication: in asymptomatic people over 15 years of age in the context of restricted use in the private sphere (for example, before meeting with relatives, etc.). The rapid antigenic test on a nasal swab should ideally be carried out the same day or, failing that, the day before the meeting.
  • Medical indication in addition to existing screening methods: in asymptomatic people over 15 years of age, as part of a large-scale targeted iterative screening as an alternative to antigenic RDTs / TRODs on nasopharyngeal or nasal samples (tests performed in pharmacies). The choice between TDR / TROD and autotest depends on the method of organization of the screening and the willingness and ability to carry out the test themselves of the persons to be screened.

What should be done in the event of a positive self-test?

« The question is how then we trigger the ‘Test-alert-protect’ system to have the follow-up of the person and ensure that with the Health Insurance we have the contact tracing device, because if we no longer notify your contacts, it’s a real problem « , raised Jérôme Salomon during his interview on BFM TV.

For its part, the High Authority for Health recalls that the traceability of the results of the self-tests is « not operational », and therefore recommends « to the Ministry in charge of health and to the manufacturers of antigenic self-tests SARS-CoV-2 to put put in place the traceability methods most suited to these challenges. « 

It further specifies that « any positive antigenic self-test must then be confirmed by an RT-PCR test, also making it possible to characterize the variant present. »

How much does a self-test cost?

The price of this type of test in France is not yet known. However, the green light from HAS could guarantee that it is covered 100% by health insurance.

In Germany, where it has already been widely used for a few weeks, the batch of five tests is sold for 21.99 euros by the chain of stores Lidl and 24.99 euros by Aldi, underlines LCI.

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