This miniature tracer can alert us to the presence of the Covid-19 virus in the air

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Researchers at Yale University have developed a wearable tracker that can detect the presence of Covid-19 in the air.

Scientists at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) have unveiled an air sampler that can alert its wearer to the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in closed environments. It can determine if a person is exposed to the virus, which can be useful for people in settings at particular risk of exposure, such as healthcare facilities or public places that see considerable amounts of foot traffic , such as restaurants.

This portable device, dubbed Fresh Air Clip, can be easily clipped onto any garment. Its extremely sensitive technology is able to detect even low levels of virus, well below the estimated infectious dose. The idea is to be able to warn of any potential risk and alert people that they may be quickly exposed to a risk of infection.

To achieve such results, the researchers had to recreate already existing virus detection devices in miniature form and without any energy source. In fact, the Fresh Air Clip captures fine virus-laden particles that land on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface.

The first tests were conducted with 62 people who agreed to wear the monitor for five days. A total of five of those people were exposed to the virus: four restaurant servers and one person working at a homeless shelter.

The inventors of this new tracer hope to make their discovery available to the general public as an “easy to use, non-invasive and inexpensive” tool in the fight against Covid-19. – AFP Relax news

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