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Chinese Researchers Develop Mask That Detects COVID-19

Scientists in China have developed a facemask that is able to detect exposure to COVID-19 and the Flu.

The new mask boasts a built-in sensor that is able to detect COVID-19, H5N1 and H1N1 influenza in the surrounding air in only 10 minutes. If detected, users will be notified by a connected device.

Masks feature an externally mounted devices with a lithium battery that can be recharged. In testing, researchers sprayed pathogens on it whilst indoors, recreating conversation or coughing. From liquid 70 to 560 times smaller than what is produced in a sneeze, the masks were able to identify the virus and notify the user.

Researchers say that the device has been designed for indoor use, where there is a higher risk of infection, and are working on reducing the time it takes to identify the virus.

In Australia and many other countries around the world mask mandates have been lifted resulting in a reduction in the number of wearers. A survey conducted this month in the US found 37% of individuals still wear a mask at least on occasion, a number that peaked at 89% two years prior.

Despite this China still maintains it’s strict policy of Covid Zero, which keeps widespread use of masks high. Many people internationally without a mandate continue to use them as well.



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