Researchers at Pennsylvania State University are developing a take-home “scratch-and-sniff” COVID-19 test.
Loss of smell is one of the most baffling symptoms of COVID-19, and John Hayes, director of the Sensory Evaluation Center at Penn State, said although the loss of smell isn’t present in all positive cases, studies show that 40% to 70% of people with the virus experience it.
The at-home test is a little smell card that has a peel and sniff panel on it. Like scratch and sniff but better technology,” researchers explained.
The test asks users to identify odours such as smoke, strawberry, chocolate, and onions. Then another part of the test works to reveal sensitivity to different concentrations of the same odour.
The cards don’t diagnose whether or not you have COVID-19, but the tests are about recognizing a change.
The cards have been approved by the university for distribution in February. The next step is further evaluation by federal researchers for approval.