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FDA issues warning about unauthorized in-home coronavirus tests

The FDA says it hasn't approved any at-home coronavirus tests, but is working to increase COVID-19 testing availability.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people about unauthorized, fake coronavirus test kits. Federal officials say they're also monitoring the market for products claiming to help treat COVID-19.

The FDA said on Friday that it's learned of some products being marketed as in-home coronavirus test kits which claim to diagnose, prevent or treat the illness caused by the new virus spreading worldwide. The federal agency says it hasn't OK'd any test that people can buy to test themselves at home.

"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," a statement from Food and Drugs Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judith McMeekin said.

The FDA explained that it's working with developers to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing, which may include home collection. 

If you are aware of fraudulent test kits for COVID-19, you should report them to the FDA.

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Credit: AP
In this Thursday, March 12, 2020, photo released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), shows a package containing suspected counterfeit COVID-19 test kits arriving from the United Kingdom. CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials, while conducting an enforcement examination of a parcel manifested as "Purified Water Vials" with a declared value of $196.81. 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 shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

It's also increasing enforcement at ports of entry and international mail facilities to help prevent fraudulent products made out outside the country from entering through U.S. borders.

Officials say people should go to their doctor or other medical provider for help on if they should be tested and how the process works. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines to follow if you have symptoms of COVID-19. 

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