FDA authorizes first breath test to detect coronavirus

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from The Washington Post,

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized a first-of-its-kind test that detects coronavirus using breath samples. The agency says the test delivers results within three minutes, but cautioned that it would fail to detect nearly one in 10 positive cases.

The InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer, which is about as big as a piece of carry-on luggage and was designed by Frisco, Texas-based InspectIR Systems, requires test subjects to blow into a straw attached to the device for up to 10 seconds. According to the FDA, the breath test detected 91 percent of positive cases and more than 99 percent of negative cases in a trial of about 2,400 patients, putting its performance roughly on par or better than at-home nasal-swab tests recently authorized by the FDA. But unlike at-home tests, the breath test must be administered by a trained operator.

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