Mayo Clinic Develops COVID-19 Detection Test To ‘Help Ease Burden’ Of Outbreak

Amid the rapidly growing cases COVID-19, health authorities have been looking for a method that would speed up diagnosis of the disease. Now, nonprofit organization Mayo Clinic said they have the tool that could help meet the demand for faster testing and treatments for patients.

Mayo Clinic has developed a tool that could give test results within 24 hours. Some local health departments currently take up to three days to confirm if a patient contracted the coronavirus. 

The organization said the new test, called "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) Molecular Detection," has already been fully validated. The tool can analyze a variety of respiratory samples, including nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, sputum, bronchoalveolar lavages and bronchial washings.

Mayo Clinic said the COVID-19 testing tool examines samples and gives results in real time. 

"This test should help ease some of the burden that is currently being felt at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health laboratories," William Morice II, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, said in a statement. "We are doing everything we can to help relieve the burden during this time to provide answers for patients here in Rochester and around the world."

Mayo Clinic said health care providers in the U.S. can submit samples directly to the clinic for testing. Results will then go to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review and emergency use authorization. 

The organization also plans to offer the COVID-19 testing tool to its clients outside of the U.S. to help speed up diagnosis of the disease. 

"An individual can now receive his or her result for SARS-CoV-2 within 24 hours," Matthew Binnicker, a clinical microbiologist and director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, said. 

The medical community has yet to determine how COVID-19 affects people. Some ongoing studies aim to understand how contagious the disease is and to develop an effective vaccine to prevent transmission.

Latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that COVID-19 is now present in 144 countries and territories around the world. The disease has already infected 153,000 people and left 5,735 patients dead.