Mar 13, 2020 - Health

Some areas of U.S. facing shortages of nasal swabs, key for coronavirus testing

nasal swab
Photo: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Some areas of the U.S. are facing a shortage of nasal swabs, an essential material to test people for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Coronavirus testing in the U.S. has been woefully lagging behind other countries — a criticism the Trump administration is trying to fix. Labs have been short on other materials like "RNA extraction" kits that are needed for testing.

Yes, but: The shortages aren't national — rather, they're confined to specific locations, one source with direct knowledge told me.

  • The Food and Drug Administration has published a list of alternative materials that can be used.

Go deeper: Why the U.S. is so far behind on coronavirus testing

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