The search for the quickest coronavirus test may soon be over because the Netherlands is set to roll out its rapid coronavirus breath test.
While China has recently started using its intrusive anal swab tests, Netherlands will be rolling out a more convenient rapid coronavirus breath test, health officials revealed.
A Reuters report stated that the test is called the SpiroNose. It is a machine that works just like a breath alcohol test. All the person has to do is to deliver breaths into the machine, and in a matter of a few minutes, one will know whether he has COVID-19 or not. Testing sites in Amsterdam have already started using the test and officials will soon begin rolling it out to other parts of the Netherlands.
Mariken van der Lubben of the municipal health services of Amsterdam said that the SpiroNose is very reliable in detecting negative tests. Van der Lubben, who is also an infectious disease specialist, said that a person who tests negative using the SpiroNose can be assured of a reliable outcome and can freely go.
However, the same cannot be said for those who test positive. they need to undergo a follow-up test using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The Dutch health service is set to roll out around 1,800 of the tests at different testing sites in the country.
The machine was made by Dutch health tech company Breathomix. It was originally used for the detection of lung cancer and asthma. An executive of the company, Rianne de Vries, said that they have already measured thousands of patients who have suffered from coronavirus, as well as those who do not have it so they have the average breath profile of those who have COVID-19 and those who are not infected.
De Vries noted that the machine will not be the possible solution for the reopening of venues to large audiences. The SpiroNose is also sensitive to smoke, alcohol, and other factors that could be found in someone's breath.
Marc Van Ranst, a Belgian virologist, said that the breath test is a promising technology due to its speed in providing the result, which is only within a minute. He added though that they do not have enough results yet to say with certainty that it will be the future of rapid testing.
Fox News revealed that researchers from the University of Miami in the U.S. are also working on a similar coronavirus breath test that could detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in less than a minute.