DETROIT – Officials with Beaumont Health said they have developed a new test that can detect the coronavirus (COVID-19) in saliva, urine or blood within 30-45 minutes.
Researchers at the Aikens Research Center said results were found to be highly accurate. They said the test is relatively inexpensive to create and run.
“We need more testing options if we’re going to stage a successful public health response to COVID-19,” Dr. Laura Lamb said. “This is a rapid test that does not require expensive machinery to run and the materials for it are relatively inexpensive. The more options we have for testing, the better.”
Lamb said the test could be used for screening at the point of risk, such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities, cruise ships, naval ships, schools and prisons.
“Because this is an existing test, we are optimistic with the right resources, it could be ready for widespread use within a month or so,” Lamb said.
Officials are looking for corporate sponsorship to fund development, Dr. Michael Chancellor said.
Results from the most accurate tests currently available take 24 hours or more to process and those tests are expensive for some hospitals and clinics, according to Beaumont Health.
Lamb and Chancellor previously came up with a rapid Zika virus detection test about three years ago, Beaumont health officials said.
“This just shows you how working in one area can jumpstart research in another,” Chancellor said.
Lamb said the detection test builds on recommendations from Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D., the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Fauci said rapid testing and tracing are the keys to containing the coronavirus.