For people with the flu, the faster they are diagnosed and treated, the better. Diagnosis used to require lengthy lab tests. Then, scientists developed a miniaturized chip version. Now, you might be able to check with just one breath.
Perena Gouma, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, created a hand-held breath monitor that may be able to detect the flu virus.
This breath monitor is similar to the ones police officers use to check for alcohol on people's breath. Patients exhale into the device, which uses sensors to detect biomarkers commonly associated with the flu virus. This tells patients whether they have the flu.
The idea is to eventually make the device available in drugstores so people can detect and treat the flu in its earliest stages. It could even help prevent flu epidemics from spreading.