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New device detects COVID-19 infection within seconds

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Researchers at Ohio State University developed a breathalyzer tool that identifies a coronavirus infection in critically ill patients within fifteen seconds. This, they say, measures traces of what they call a “distinct breath print.”

This “distinct breath print” is a combination of three gases: oxygen, ammonia and nitric oxide. When a COVID-19 patient exhales into the breathalyzer, the mix and concentration of the three gases can indicate a positive infection with 88% accuracy

“PCR tests often miss early COVID-19 infections and results can be positive after the infection has resolved,” lead study author, Dr. Matthew Exline, said in a news release. “However, this noninvasive breath test technology can pick up early COVID-19 infection within 72 hours of the onset of respiratory failure.”

Exline went on to say that this will allow doctors to rapidly screen patients and exclude those without COVID-19 on mechanical ventilators in a single step.