Pennsylvania researchers develop breath test to detect COVID

Coronavirus

PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Sniffing out COVID in kids is now possible thanks to researchers in Pennsylvania who have developed a breath test to detect the virus.

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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia created the test, which is currently the size of a large computer server. The goal is to shrink that technology into the size of a portable alcohol breathalyzer. Viruses change a body’s metabolism, which includes breath.

Researchers say their tests can detect an infection 91% of the time and COVID, in particular, 75% of the time.

“We have the child blow into the bag, collect the air onto something we can shoot onto a machine, and the machine gives us a readout of everything present,” Dr. Audrey John, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said.

The technology mimics the way dogs can sniff out COVID. More research could make this a viable alternative to uncomfortable nasal swabs.

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