New rapid test for COVID-19

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Date: 11.02.2021

The Netherlands is to introduce rapid COVID-19 breath tests to sites across the country to speed up the testing process and make it less intrusive.

Testing facilities in Amsterdam were this week the first to start using the SpiroNose, a machine which requires a person to breathe into it to indicate a possible coronavirus infection within a minute.

After months of trials, Dutch health authorities found the SpiroNose to be reliable in the case of negative test results, infectious disease expert Mariken van der Lubben of Amsterdam’s municipal health services told Reuters.

“If you are negatively tested, then it’s a very reliable outcome and you can go,” Van der Lubben said.

A positive test needed to be followed by a regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to establish whether the detected infection was caused by a coronavirus.

The Dutch health service has ordered around 1,800 machines with plans to introduce them in test facilities across the country in coming months.

Van Ranst said lengthy test periods comparing the breath test with the PCR test would be necessary to see whether the test could also make the distinction between different types of viruses.

Dutch health tech company Breathomix, which originally developed the machine to detect asthma and lung cancer, said it had collected enough data to reliably spot a possible coronavirus infection.

Source: Reuters

 

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