The University of Florida is among the three higher education institutions which will receive funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to research the smell-based COVID-19 tests.
The university has been granted an amount of $912,000 so that school researchers can try out and examine two smell-based tests and detect which one of those tests appears to be more accurate, Erudera College News reports.
In addition to Florida, part of the study is also the Arizona State University along with Pennsylvania State University.
According to the Director of the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste, Dr Steven Munger, the research might be used to develop at-home COVID-19 tests.
“Hopefully, using smell testing as a way of an early indicator of the presence of COVID-19 will help health providers and communities to identify individuals that should be most rapidly targeted to additional testing or to isolation,” Munger emphasized.
The tests will release common smells at different concentrations, and researchers will require the persons who are subjected to tests to determine them.
One of the most common symptoms of Coronavirus is the smell and taste loss. This symptom can also be experienced by patients who might be infected with the virus but do not show other COVID-19 symptoms.
Participants who will be included in the study will be recruited starting as of January.
The University of Florida has already taken measures to protect its students and faculty members from COVID-19 infection. The latter will release protocols over the return of students and staff to campuses based on demographics.
- Until January 10, students must complete an online initial health screening questionnaire for the spring semester.
- After the initial return-to-campus screening, every student will receive a health screening questionnaire on a weekly basis. Students assessed to present a high risk for virus transmission by the UF Health experts will be tested every two weeks as of January 11.
In addition to the University of Florida, other universities worldwide are also making efforts to ensure students and staff’s safety amid the pandemic.
Most recently, the University of Göttingen is providing voluntary and regular COVID-19 tests for its students and faculty through the “Campus-COVID-Screen” project in an effort to curb the COVID-19 spread.
At the same time, the University of Sussex will be part of the mass asymptomatic testing program of the government; thus it is advising all its students to undertake the tests before travelling back home in the United Kingdom during winter holidays.