Mar 21, 2020 - Health

FDA approves first bedside coronavirus test

A patient prepares for a coronavirus test in New York City. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a "point-of-service" coronavirus test, made by Cepheid, that will be rolled out March 30.

Why it matters: This is the first tool that can test patients at the bedside and get results in less than an hour, which should help alleviate the United States' dire testing backlog.

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Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday that the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness in the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrowMar 29, 2020 - Health

Federal officers seize coronavirus test kits they suspect to be fake

Photo: Customs and Border Protection/Twitter

Customs and Border Protection officers at Los Angeles International Airport's mail facility have intercepted a package of suspected counterfeit test kits for the novel coronavirus that arrived from the United Kingdom, the CBP said in a statement Saturday.

The big picture: The CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials last Thursday while examining a parcel marked "Purified Water Vials" with a declared value of $196.81, the statement said. "A complete examination of the shipment, led to the finding of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled 'Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)' and 'Virus1 Test Kit,'" the CBP added. The shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for analysis.

Go deeper: Price of the CDC coronavirus test: $36

Untested rape kits leave thousands of serial rapists at large

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A recent push by lawmakers and activists to test sexual assault kits, or rape kits, for DNA matches led to the introduction of 105 state bills and the enactment of 28 new laws in 2019 to provide funding and resources to test the kits, according to the nonprofit End the Backlog.

Why it matters: The rape kits are often the only physical evidence in a court case, and processing them has led to the arrest of hundreds of sexual assault offenders across the country.