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UK scientists develop gadget that sniffs out Covid-19

Jun 13, 2021 21:01 IST | By Editorji News Desk

Electronic devices may soon be used to identify the presence of infection in a crowded space using body odour profiles after scientists in the UK have tested a so-called "Covid alarm".

Early studies by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University show that Covid-19 infection has a distinct smell, resulting from changes in the volatile organic compounds which make up the body odour – generating an odour "fingerprint" that the sensors can detect.

The study tested devices with organic semi-conducting sensors, which could potentially be used as a Covid-19 screening tool.

The pre-print study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, used body odour samples from socks worn and donated to the team by 54 individuals – of which were 27 Covid-19 positive individuals who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and 27 uninfected individuals.

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