The Daily Telegraph

Mask alerts wearer that coronaviru­s is in the air


A MASK that can detect coronaviru­s in just 10 minutes has been developed by Chinese scientists.

The face covering has a sensor that can detect the novel bug in the air and alert the wearer via an app on their phone. It can also pick up swine flu and bird flu – those diseases spread through droplets in the air released by infected people when they talk, cough or sneeze.

The tiny, invisible molecules can remain suspended in the air for a long time and people catch the illnesses by breathing in a big cluster of the molecules as they lurk.

Study author Dr Yin Fang, of Shanghai Tongji University, said: “Previous research has shown face mask wearing can reduce the risk of spreading and contractin­g the disease.

“We wanted to create a mask that can detect the presence of virus in the air and alert the wearer.

“Our mask would work really well in spaces with poor ventilatio­n, such as lifts or enclosed rooms, where the risk of getting infected is high.

“In the future, if a new respirator­y virus emerges, we can easily update the sensor’s design for detecting the novel pathogens.”

The findings were published in the journal Matter.

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