This Could Determine If You Have COVID in 5 Minutes, Experts Say

Experts say it can expedite "getting people safely back to work and controlling outbreaks."

While millions of COVID tests have been administered throughout the U.S. and beyond, a new diagnostic tool promises to deliver results faster than any existing test. According to researchers, this new tool could help expedite mass testing, making it easier for people who need to quarantine to do so in a timely manner and thus, slow the spread of the virus. Read on to discover how you could find out if you have COVID faster than ever before, and for the tell-tale sign you're sick, check out This Is the "Strongest, Most Consistent" Sign You Have COVID, Study Says.

In a Jan. 4 preprint of a study published through medRxiv, researchers at England's University of Birmingham announced the development of a new means of testing for COVID that takes under five minutes to detect the virus. Unlike prior COVID tests, the University of Birmingham researchers' new test uses only traditional lab equipment and requires no administration of high heat to samples, like the PCR tests commonly used to detect the virus.

In a press release, Tim Dafforn, PhD, a professor at the University of Birmingham's School of Biosciences, said that the new test has "the inherent sensitivity of an RNA test" but with significantly faster results. The new test "can be used in existing point of care devices and meets the need for testing in … settings where people may be waiting in line for their results," Dafforn explained.

The new test, dubbed the Exponential Amplification Reaction (EXPAR), samples single strands of DNA and its quick results could be promising in terms of not only mass testing, but getting the pandemic under control faster, experts say. "More rapid testing will allow us to unlock near patient testing, getting people safely back to work and controlling outbreaks when they happen," said Andrew Beggs, PhD, a professor at the University of Birmingham's Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences.

One of the struggles throughout the pandemic has been states doing sufficient testing and getting results back to patients as quickly as possible. A key factor that indicates how a state is doing in terms of testing is the positive test rate, meaning the percentage of tests that yield positive results. "The percent positive will be high if the number of positive tests is too high, or if the number of total tests is too low," Johns Hopkins explains. "A higher percent positive suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven't been tested yet."

The goal is for states to have a positive test rate below 5 percent. As of Jan. 5, according to Johns Hopkins data, only two states meet that criteria (Vermont and Hawaii). Keep reading to find out the states with the highest positive test rates that could benefit from the rapid testing the University of Birmingham is developing. And for more on the latest coronavirus news, check out Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Warning About Another New COVID Strain.

Read the original article on Best Life.

10
Mississippi

The downtown skyline of Jackson, Mississippi with the state house in the foreground
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Positive test rate: 21.6 percent

And for where the new U.K. variant is cropping up, check out The New COVID Strain Is Now in These 5 States.

9
Utah

ogden utah overview
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Positive test rate: 24.1 percent

8
Arkansas

fayetteville arkansas street
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Positive test rate: 24.6 percent

And for the area with the worst COVID scenario at the moment, check out This State Now Has the Worst COVID Outbreak in the U.S.

7
Tennessee

nashville tennessee neon lights at night
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Positive test rate: 25.3 percent

6
Kansas

Kansas
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Positive test rate: 39.8 percent

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5
South Dakota

south dakota state capitol buildings
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Positive test rate: 40.5 percent

4
Pennsylvania

Lancaster is a city located in South Central Pennsylvania which serves as the seat of Pennsylvania's Lancaster County and one of the oldest inland towns in the United States
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Positive test rate: 42.1 percent

3
Iowa

des moines iowa state capitol buildings
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Positive test rate: 46.3 percent

And for the area the nation's leading health expert has his eye on, check out Dr. Fauci Just Said He's Worried About This One State.

2
Alabama

tuscaloosa alabama university of alabama
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Positive test rate: 49.9 percent

1
Idaho

Idaho
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Positive test rate: 55.1 percent

And to see how your state is doing overall, check out This State Now Has the Worst COVID Outbreak in the U.S.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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