COVID-19 Anosmia Checker
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COVID-19 Anosmia Checker – Developed By DBT-RGCB

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world is racing towards finding a vaccine or drug to control it. However, until a vaccine/drug is not available, mass screening is the only way to control this pandemic. The COVID-19 curve can be flattened by embracing mass testing protocols with extensive screening and isolating the infected people. Currently, RTPCR/rapid antigen tests are being used to screen COVID-19, but this requires skilled professionals to conduct the test and is expensive, making these tests have less regularity.

A paper-based odor strip has been developed to efficiently determine the loss of smell that is a notable marker of COVID-19. This is developed by Dr. Jackson James and his team from DBT’s Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum, in association with Dr. Balarama Kaimal’s team from Saveetha Medical College Hospital, Chennai.

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COVID-19 Anosmia Checker
Image Credits: https://vigyanprasar.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/vigyan_samachar_dbt_01BB_25Nov2020.pdf

The “COVID-Anosmia checker,” spotted with gradients of coffee and lemongrass oil, was
approved in healthy and COVID-19 positive patients. To validate the sensitivity and specificity, a trial screening was conducted in COVID-9 positive patients.

The study subjected the COVID-19 positive individuals to smell higher odor concentration; the results revealed that they were hyposmic (partial loss of smell) rather than anosmic (total loss of smell). This newly developed told detected 97% of symptomatic and 94% of asymptomatic COVID-19 positive individuals. Additionally, it was feasible to determine SARS-CoV-2 infection by estimating a loss of smell score with 100% specificity.

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Further, this tool is paired with a mobile application, which takes the input action from the user, and also can immediately classify the user in the suitable risk groups (low, medium, and high-risk), thus substantially minimizing the testing expense. This tool can be utilized by anyone without any expertise and can be used in remote areas or for screening at airport terminals or border entry points. A person can regularly self-test at the house to look for the believed start of COVID-19. The primary testing utilizing the “COVID-Anosmia checker” is rapid and takes approximately 2 mins and costs ~ US$ 0.14 for producing each test strip. A pre-print model of the document with full information is hosted in the charitable pre-print web server medRxiv.

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COVID-19 Anosmia Checker – Developed By DBT-RGCB