The easiest and most common way to get tested for Covid-19 is doing a swab test through the nose or mouth, although some countries like China have introduced anal swab tests which must not feel very comfortable.
Thailand, on the other hand, has discovered a new way of testing for Covid-19 – using armpit sweat. Yes, you read that right.
According to Thai scientists, armpit sweat may contain subtle signs of Covid-19 infection as individuals infected with the virus secrete very “distinct chemicals”, reported CNA.
“From the samples, we found that people infected with Covid-19 secrete very distinct chemicals,” said Chadin Kulsing from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University.
“We used this finding to develop a device to detect the specific odours produced by certain bacteria in the sweat of Covid-19 patients.”
Thai researchers are now in the midst of developing a sweat-based mobile virus detected and have conducted a road test on shopkeepers at a Bangkok market recently.
Chadin said that although the device is still in the development stage, it is 95% accurate. He hopes it could be rolled out as another option for getting tested, one that is more affordable compared to tests that require lab processing.
The test is adapted from a device used to detect toxic chemicals in the environment. To test for Covid-19, a cotton swab is placed under the armpit for 15 minutes before it is put in a glass vial and sterilised with UV rays.
“The technician then draws an appropriate amount of the sample using a suction hose, and pressurises it into the analyser to check the results,” Chadin said, adding that sample collection takes 15 minutes and the results are ready in 30 seconds.
These tests have been well-received by Bangkok market vendors, who said that it was not uncomfortable like nasal swab tests.
One watermelon seller said it was more convenient as they were able to work while waiting for the results.
“With the PCR test, I’d have to be at a testing centre, sit and wait for the result and it just wastes my time,” they said.
What do you think of this? Let us know in the comments below!
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