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Doctor at University of Miami developing rapid coronavirus test

A patient could get results in about 30 minutes

MIAMI – Testing for coronavirus has certainly ramped up in recent weeks, and one doctor at the University of Miami is helping to speed things along.

She has developed her own rapid COVID-19 test.

"It’s a sense of responsibility and it’s a sense of wanting to help others, and help our community," said Dr. Sylvia Daunert, head of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Miami.

She told Local 10 News' Janine Stanwood that currently, inside her lab, scientists are developing what could be a major breakthrough: rapid test strips for COVID-19.

A patient could get results, she said, in about 30 minutes

“Often that takes more than a day to even answer the patient," said Dr. Daunert. "That is critical time that you could already be taking care of the patient. Putting him or her on therapy, isolating them, et cetera.”

If approved, a patient would get their throat swabbed, and the sample would be placed into a tube.

The results would be simple to read: two lines means positive; one line means negative.

Dr. Daunert said the test could be administered just about anywhere.

"In a pharmacy, in an emergency room, in a physician's office," she said. "One day, hopefully, it could be used in airports."

Dr. Daunert said UM researchers have lots of experience; they developed a platform for tests like this during the Zika crisis.

“Instead of detecting for the Zika virus, (we’re) detecting for the COVID-19,”she said. “It’s important that we all pitch in and work as one. And we don’t take this lightly.”

Currently the lab is preparing to send the tests to the FDA for approval, a process Dr. Daunert said could take just weeks.


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