US authorises coronavirus breath test with results in three minutes

US authorises coronavirus breath test with results in three minutes

By Dhanjay Deo
Monday 18/04/2022

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised a first-of-its-kind test that detects coronavirus using breath samples.

The agency says the test delivers results within three minutes, but cautioned that it would fail to detect nearly one in 10 positive cases.

The InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyser, which is about as big as a piece of carry-on luggage requires test subjects to blow into a straw attached to the device for up to 10 seconds.

According to the US’ chief medical approvals agency, the breath test detected 91 per cent of positive cases and more than 99 per cent of negative cases in a trial of about 2,400 patients, putting its performance roughly on par or better than at-home nasal swab tests.

But unlike at-home tests, the breath test must be administered by a trained operator.

People who test positive using the breath test should then get a second, confirmatory PCR test.

Experts said that the breath test could eventually be used as a quick screening device at large events, given its ease-of-use and quick turnaround time compared to rapid tests that often require at least 15 minutes to wait for results.

[Source: SMH]

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