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Armpit Sweat Is the Key to This New Thai COVID-19 Test Kit

They’ve received a thumbs up from Bangkok market vendors.

By now we’re all pretty familiar with the way COVID-19 tests work. You get either a nose or throat swab (or both) and wait a bit for the results. This can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the type of test you take.

However, for some people who constantly have to take COVID-19 tests out of necessity, they start to get really uncomfortable. Even for first-timers, it’s not exactly a pleasant experience, to say the least.

Scientists in Thailand have developed a new device that tests for COVID-19 based on armpit sweat as opposed to conventional swabs.

And at least among the several Bangkok market vendors that have tested it, the armpit sweat device has been given a unanimous thumbs up. The tests have been billed as 95 percent accurate, and researchers hope that the device will get full approval for a public rollout, after further development.

If things end up working out, the sweat-based device is expected to be an extremely popular alternative to costly lab-involved COVID-19 swab tests.

“From the samples, we found that people infected with COVID-19 secrete very distinct chemicals,” said Chadin Kulsing of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

“We used this finding to develop a device to detect the specific odors produced by certain bacteria in the sweat of COVID-19 patients.”

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The sense of kinship and warmth found in the Chula community is priceless and a treasure worth keeping.

Prof. Dr. Pornanong Aramwit Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University