Innovation

Beaumont Doctors Develop Test That Detects Coronavirus In Saliva, Other Body Fluids

COVID-19 testing is seen as one of the ways that can help determine who may be infected or not by the coronavirus. Mass testing efforts have increased, a reason why more positive cases have been found. Compared to the early months since the outbreak began, a better overview has slowly taken shape. It has also aided people and regions to take the proper measures to prevent the COVID-19 from further spreading.

Despite the massive efforts of administering COVID-19 tests, it remains that there are still areas that have not been able to properly test locals. Local government agencies are trying to do their part. But depending on the population, it is a reality that not all can be accommodated for free or at a minimal fee. The key point here is that COVID-19 tests do not come cheap. Furthermore, the low-cost ones raise questions on the accuracy of the result.

There are groups from around the globe who are trying to come up with a cheaper way to administer tests that render accurate readings. One of them is Beaumont Health, revealing that they have developed a new COVID-19 test that would detect the virus in urine, blood, saliva or a mouth swab sample in 30-45 minutes.

The people behind this test are Dr. Laura Lamb and Dr. Michael Chancellor at the Aikens Research Center at Beaumont Research Institute. Concerning questions on the accuracy, Beaumont compared this with results to the latest technology. According to them, the results found were highly accurate.

COVID-19 antibody test The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a guidance saying antibody tests may not always provide accurate results to identify COVID-19 infections. Pixabay

"We need more testing options if we’re going to stage a successful public health response to COVID-19," Lamb said. "This is a rapid test that does not require expensive machinery to run and the materials for it are relatively inexpensive. The more options we have for testing, the better."

Beaumont reportedly came up with the idea of a rapid Zika virus test from three years ago. It was adapted for COVID-19 and the results were found. The new test is good news that can help address the lack of screening in some areas. Lamb said that this test could be used for screening at places like nursing homes, long-term care facilities, cruise ships, school systems and so on. However, they enter a critical phase to get these tests out - funding. Beaumont needs to get corporate sponsorship to fund the development of the test.

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