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Abbott's toaster-sized coronavirus test wins US FDA emergency use authorization

Abbott Laboratories' rapid diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus sweeping the globe secured emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The U.S. medical technology company said positive results arrive in as soon as five minutes, while negative results come in about 13 minutes, making it the fastest available test for the virus at the point of care.

The test uses Abbott's ID NOW platform, which is about the size of a toaster and is already available in the U.S., where it is largely used in detecting influenza, Streptococcus A and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. The molecular diagnostic technology is portable and can be used in doctors' offices, urgent care centers and hospitals.

Abbott said the tests will be available for urgent care settings this week. The Abbott Park, Ill.-based company is consulting with the federal government on where to send the tests.

Earlier in March, Abbott obtained FDA authorization for another novel coronavirus test that uses the company's RealTime System. The company plans on making about 5 million tests a month between the ID NOW and RealTime platforms.

The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As of March 29, almost 125,000 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been confirmed in the U.S., with nearly 2,200 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.