Researchers at the University of California San Diego are putting technology to work to help gauge exposure to COVID-19.
A sticker placed on the outside of a mask detects the presence of a specific COVID-19 protease in other peoples’ breath, collecting droplets throughout the day.
Jesse Jokerst, an associate professor at UCSD says “At the end of the day, you click a little blister pack, and if it changes color, that means that you might have been exposed to COVID and that you should seek out additional testing.”
The color-based testing technique, called “Colorimetric Detection”, hasn’t been used for viral detection but is, however, similar to home-pregnancy test indicators.
Jokerst says the test only serves as a warning that further testing may be advised. It won’t tell you exactly what you’ve come in contact with but, instead is, an indicator of elevated risk.
In a post-pandemic world, the technology may be utilized to assess the risk of other diseases like SARS and MERS.