UK Scientists develop smell testing kit to diagnose COVID-19 | Fusion - WeRIndia

UK Scientists develop smell testing kit to diagnose COVID-19

UK Scientists develop smell testing kit to diagnose COVID-19

Loss of smell is associated with COVID-19. Hence smell tests help diagnose COVID-19. A team of researchers at the Queen Mary University of London, UK, developed a novel smell testing kit.

They found in their research that smell tests can diagnose certain neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and COVID-19 as loss of smell is one of the symptoms of COVID-19.

But, the existing smell tests are expensive and time-consuming to use regularly. In addition to that, they use paperboard items that have a fragrant coating. Users need to scratch a card to sniff.

The main problem with these tests is that the amount of odour released will not be the same for all patients. It depends on the ability of a person to the extent of scratch. So, if a person scratches a little, it will release less amount of odour. Thus, it might affect the results.


In this scenario, the researchers wanted to find out an alternative and easy solution. They developed an innovative smell testing kit that contains capsules of aromatic oils and two strips of single-sided tape.

The capsules are crushed between the fingers and placed between tape strip to take the test. The aroma in the capsules released and patients need to identify them. Depending on their ability to recognize these smells, people will be given a score.

Later their scores will be sent to their doctors to check if they are losing the smell. Since the smell test is easy to perform and less stressful, it will benefit more patients. The researchers said that the smell test kit can be used instead of a nose swab test to diagnose COVID-19 as it is non-invasive.

Particularly, this smell test will be useful for children. Besides, it can be carried out at their home due to its ease. Furthermore, the amount of odour released is controlled by the amount of oil, but not by the patient. Hence, this smell test could be more accurate.

Image by monicore from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)


Image Reference: https://pixabay.com/photos/essential-oils-aromatherapy-spa-oil-1433692/

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