CDC Expects Wuhan Virus to Spread as Testing Kit Shortage Leaves U.S. National Pandemic Surveillance System Blind
Meantime, many state and local health departments in the U.S. don’t have the test kits they need to rapidly diagnose coronavirus infections because federal health authorities are still working out kinks.
The limited availability of the tests could hamstring local efforts to handle an anticipated rise in the number of U.S. cases, public-health and hospital officials said.
Testing for the virus has been relatively slow because most local health officials must ship patient samples to the CDC in Atlanta and isolate patients under investigation while waiting for the results. That can take days. To speed up diagnoses, the CDC wants to send test kits to state and local health departments….
“We still do not know when the CDC kit replacements will come out, and our members are pretty anxious about it,” said Scott Becker, chief executive officer of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. “It doesn’t feel like a good place to be.”