Report: Scientists successfully test a "breathalyzer" for COVID-19 detection


(CHINA) — An international team of scientists has reportedly successfully fielded a new device that could someday do away with those deep nasal swabs currently used to test people for COVID-19. 

Instead of the invasive test some have called the “brain scrape,” this prototype is a breathalyzer-like machine that developers claim has successfully analyzed subjects not only for the presence of COVID-19, but that can also tell the difference between that virus and other infections. 

The device can also tell whether or not someone had the coronavirus in the past, developers say, eliminating the need for a separate test.

The device uses gold nanoparticles that react to presence of SARS-CoV-2, according to the scientists’ research published in the journal ACS Nano.  Developers say that reaction delivers much faster results than the tests currently in use, to boot.

The machine was tested back in March on dozens of people in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated.  Developers say larger-scale testing is needed but results so far show promise.

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