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Alert: Beware of Fake In-Home COVID-19 Tests

March 26, 2020

On the heels of a federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning about the health risks posed by fake in-home test kids for coronavirus (COVID-19), a Hartford HealthCare infectious disease specialist underscored the need to seek care only from trusted sources.

“You should only be using a test that has been ordered by your licensed medical practitioner,” said Dr. Ulysses Wu. “Any other tests are not FDA-approved and can lead to erroneous test results that may miss a true diagnosis or miss a false diagnosis, which can have enormous consequences.”

The FDA issued its warning after multiple nationwide reports that fake tests were being marketed for sale.

“We want to alert the American public that, at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19,” according to a statement from FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin.

The agency is working with developers on tests that might include home collection of samples for testing, but nothing is approved yet.

“Fraudulent health claims, tests and products can pose serious health risks,” Hahn and McMeekin said.

The FDA has issued warning letters to companies selling and promoting home test kits.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 – high fever, coughing and shortness of breath – Dr. Wu suggested calling your primary care provider for direction. If you fall into a high-risk category because of your age, overall health or recent travel, your provider might choose to send you for a drive-through test at one of Hartford HealthCare’s acute care facilities across the state.

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

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