Coronavirus test kits sent to states are flawed, CDC says

CDC reported Wednesday that some of the coronavirus testing kits that were sent to state laboratories are not working correctly.

CDC reported Wednesday that some of the coronavirus testing kits that were sent to state laboratories are not working correctly. "Obviously, a state wouldn't want to be doing this test and using it to make clinical decisions if it isn't working as well, as perfectly, at the state as it is at CDC," said Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news conference. The agency recommends testing for some individuals who have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and who, within the past 2 weeks, have traveled to China or have been in close contact with a patient known to be infected with the novel coronavirus. Doctors with patients who fall into that category are supposed to discuss with their state health department whether the individuals should be tested for the coronavirus. According to CDC, testing kits were shipped to every state; however, officials did not indicate how many of the kits were not working right. Messonnier explained that trial runs in some states found that the CDC kits produced "inconclusive" results. The tests did not use samples from potential patients but were conducted as part of standard quality-control procedures. Messonnier said the issue appeared come from one ingredient used in the test, and CDC will make a new supply of that ingredient to send to all the labs. A CDC spokesperson said states that did not have difficulty with the kits could keep using them and would still receive the newly made ingredient from CDC when it was ready. Separately, CDC announced late Wednesday that another Wuhan evacuee quarantined at a California military base had tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the United States to 14.