When coronavirus starts to penetrate to America, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent states tainted test kits in early February. Unfortunately, the test kits themselves have got the virus, federal officials have confirmed.
The contamination made the tests uninterpretable, testing is very important stopping the virus infections so it lost the country invaluable time to get ahead of the advancing pandemic.
The CDC had been unclear about what is the error with the tests, at the beginning only saying that “a problem in the manufacturing of one of the reagents” had led to the failure. The reporting later suggested that the problem was with a negative control—that is, a part of the test meant to be free of any trace of the Coronavirus as a critical reference for confirming that the test was working properly overall.
Now, according to the information reported by The New York Times, federal officials confirm that careless laboratory practices at two of three CDC labs involved in the tests’ creation led to contamination of the tests and their uninterpretable results.
The Food and Drug Administration sent Timothy Stenzel, chief of in vitro diagnostics and radiological health, to the CDC to find out what was going wrong after the problems become clearer in early February. According to the Times, He found that there is a lack of combination and experience in commercial manufacturing.
There are some Problems that led to the contamination included researchers coming and going from labs working on the test kits but the didn’t change their coats. They also share lab space to both assemble test components and handle samples that have the virus.
The CDC claimed in The Times that they “did not manufacture its test consistent with its own protocol.” Though the CDC seems reluctant to admit contamination was the root of the problem, the Times noted that there are some statements the CDC seemed to admit such problems, saying the agency has since “implemented enhanced quality control to address the issue and will be assessing the issue moving forward.”
It took the CDC about one month to deal with the problem After this agency first sent its test kit to states in early February. By then, the virus had invaded many communities, and there is not any chance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By mid-March, many states turned to mitigation efforts, such as social distancing, to try to blunt—rather than prevent—the life-threatening, healthcare-overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
“It was just tragic,” Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told the Times. “All that time when we were sitting there waiting, I really felt like, here we were at one of the most critical junctures in public health history, and the biggest tool in our toolbox was missing.”
On April 20, the US has confirmed more than 760,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 40,700 deaths. The numbers are expected to be underestimates because of the slow and limited amount of testing.