With any highly infectious disease, time can be a killer. It is crucial to get a test result for a pathogen quickly, lest someone continue in their daily lives infecting others. And delays in testing have undoubtedly exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the most accurate COVID-19 test often takes 24 hours or longer to return results from a lab. At-home test kits offer results in minutes but are far less accurate or sensitive. Researchers at the University of Florida (UF), however, have helped developed a COVID-19 testing device that can detect coronavirus infection in as little as 30 seconds as sensitively and accurately as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, the gold standard of testing. They are working with scientists at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. The device, researchers said, could transform public health officials’ ability to quickly detect and respond to the coronavirus--or the next pandemic.
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