Given the scarcity of tests in hospitals and health centers, a resource that has been used frequently is the home tests for Covid-19, which allow the presence of the virus SARS-CoV-2 to be detected easily. But what if the Covid home tests expire?
1. Covid-19 home tests: What are their benefits?
Undoubtedly, home tests for Covid-19 are an extremely useful tool to access timely treatment and avoid putting your health at greater risk, in addition to the fact that its cost is usually much lower than in other health centers. This saving helps the budget of households with more than one member.
Another benefit of this test is that it is less invasive than others and does not represent greater discomfort for the person performing it, so it can be carried out from the comfort of your home in as many attempts as necessary, always using a different test.
2. What is the duration of a Covid-19 test?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has carefully studied the components of each Covid home test and based on solid scientific bases, has concluded that they have an approximate duration of 15 months.
The health authorities of the United States, where a large part of the Covid home tests are produced explained that in reality what expires are the components of the strips. Each manufacturer has placed the expiration date on the sides of the boxes that are for sale.
3. Can I use an expired Covid test?
When asked “Can I use an expired Covid test?” the simplest answer is yes. Using a Covid home test whose shelf life has expired is possible but not recommended. This means that the operation of the equipment will not present obvious alterations, but it could alter the result.
The official recommendation of the health authorities is to avoid, as far as possible, the use of tests that have already expired. However in recent months, the FDA has said that in some cases it is possible to use tests with an expiration date of no more than three months.
4. How could using an expired Covid test affect me?
One of the main suggestions that experts give regarding the use of home Covid tests is to carefully review the expiration date contained on the packaging and avoid using any strip that has an expiration date that has already passed.
But what could happen if I use an expired Covid test? The greatest risk to which a person who uses an expired home Covid test is that their results will be affected, and this could put their closest relatives at risk of contagion.
5. How should these tests be handled?
One thing to consider is that before using a home Covid test, it is necessary to keep it at room temperature in a safe and cool place.
It is important to bear in mind that the tests have undergone rigorous studies, and it has been verified that the tests can withstand temperatures between 2° and 30°, but it is not designed to spend long periods in refrigeration or freezing.