COVID-19 Breath Test Approved in The US, Here’s How It Could be Useful
(CTN News) – A new COVID-19 screening tool relies on breathing to make testing easier, faster, and painless.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday authorized the use of a device that can detect COVID-19 in breath samples, a first for the agency.
In a statement to Global News on Friday, Health Canada said it has not yet received an application. However, Canadian experts say this non-invasive tool could not only facilitate testing but could also reduce transmission rates.
As long as a breath test is not too expensive and is a sensitive enough test, the big benefit is that everyone breathes, and you don’t have to learn a lot more to do the test,” said Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at Dalhousie University.
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How will it work?
In a study of more than 2,400 subjects, the inspection COVID-19 Breathalyzer was tested.
FDA said the device is the size of a carry-on suitcase and can be used in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and mobile testing sites.
The test must be performed by a qualified operator under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional.
In order to collect a sample, one exhales into a tube or single-use straw attached to the testing kit, much like blowing up a balloon.
As a viable sample, a quarter-liter of exhaled air is collected, which usually takes about ten seconds.
What are the limitations?
Experts say this form of screening has some limitations despite its speed and convenience.
Barrett said that breath tests are notoriously difficult because they can be influenced by many different factors, including when you last ate.
COVID-19 testing for breath specimens has the potential to be a niche market for her.
As a result of the pandemic, a lot of people have gained access to tools that allow them to self-determine and self-test. This is not one of those tools.”