‘Scream test’ for coronavirus could spell an end to unpleasant throat swabs
An extraordinary new way to detect Covid-19 has been developed by a Dutch inventor. Instead of undergoing an uncomfortable swab test, people have you just scream in a box around the site of a phone booth.
The bizarre test is the brainchild of Peter van Wees, who explains "if you have coronavirus and are infectious and “yelling and screaming you are spreading tens of thousands of particles which contain coronavirus".
Because coronavirus carriers exhale millions of "droplet sprays" of virus-laden air every time they speak or cough, a good scream gives Peter’s system a good sample to assess whether the person in the box has the virus.
Peter has set up his testing booth next to a more traditional coronavirus testing centre on the outskirts of Amsterdam so he can test his device on people who already know whether or not they have coronavirus.
He says that if it's proven to be effective his "screaming booth" will be the ideal way to screen large numbers of people at concerts, airports, schools or offices.
Geert Westerhuis, from the Dutch National Institute for Health, said the organisation was currently looking at a wide array of potential testing strategies and would welcome a fast contact-free test as long as it was proven to be accurate.
Soraya Assoud, who needed proof of a negative coronavirus test ahead of a trip to Spain, tried out the screaming booth.
"It’s always very nice to scream when nobody can hear you," she said.
"I think it’s a good way of meditation as well, it’s fun," the 25-year-old added.
It’s certainly a less invasive method than the current test, which consists of an oversized Q-Tip being inserted in the throat for 10 seconds, and then shoved up the nose.
Many people have reported gagging during throat swabs, and with increasing numbers of airlines and other long-hail transport carriers demanding a negative test before travel, something a little less stressful would be most welcome.
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