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Fake coronavirus testing kits seized at Los Angeles airport

FILE - This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. (CDC via AP, File)
FILE - This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. (CDC via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal authorities warned consumers Saturday about fake home-testing kits for the coronavirus after customs agents intercepted a package at Los Angeles International Airport filled with vials labeled as COVID-19 test kits.

The parcel arriving from the United Kingdom this week was declared as purified water vials valued at nearly $200. But when U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspected it they discovered the labels referring to the new virus that began in China and has spread globally.

“The American public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct to consumer settings,” the agency said in a statement Saturday.

Testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is only conducted in verified state and local public laboratories across the country. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and laid out new testing strategies after health care professionals, politicians and patients across the country complained about lack of access to testing.

However, public confusion persisted over who should be tested and how to get checked for the disease.

No further details, including any arrest connected to the intercepted package, were released. The vials were turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for analysis.