Scientists developing ‘Covid Alarm’ that detects infected by their body odour

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By NET Web-Desk

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Durham University researchers stated that electronic devices will soon be used to detect COVID-19 infected people in crowded spaces, using body odour profiles.

The study shows that COVID-19 infected people has a distinct smell, resulting from changes in the volatile organic compounds (VOC) which make up the body odour, thereby generating an odour “fingerprint” or a specific identity that the sensors can detect.

“These results are really promising and demonstrate the potential for using this technology as arapid, non-invasive test with incredible accuracy. However, further testing is required to confirmif these results can be replicated in real-world settings,” said Professor James Logan, Head of theDepartment of Disease Control at LSHTM, who led the study, told PTI

Early studies have shown that COVID-19 infection has a distinct smell, changes in the volatile organic compounds (VOC) generate a ”fingerprint” smell that can be detected by the sensors.  Researchers from the LSHTM and biotech company RoboScientific Ltd with Durham University, are testing devices made from organic semiconducting (OSC) sensors, to develop a new Covid-19 detecting tool. Once developed these Covid may soon be used to alert people in crowded places.

“If these devices are successfully developed for use in public places, they could be affordably and easily scaled up. They also could protect people against future disease outbreaks, with (the) capability to develop sensor arrays to detect other diseases within a number of weeks,” added Professor Logan.

The study is however yet to be published and peer-reviewed.

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