5-speed listening (Malaria Test - Level 4)

Malaria breathalyzer test could help millions






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Scientists made a breathalyzer to test for malaria. It could find the disease faster than other methods and help millions. People with malaria have a special "breath print". The breathalyzer finds chemicals in the breath print. One of the odours the device finds is the same as a smell that attracts malaria-spreading insects. The device is still being developed. The researchers say it could be a new, cheap and easy way to help diagnose malaria.

The breathalyzer looks for six different odours to spot malaria. The researchers tested 35 children. They successfully found that 29 of the children had malaria - an accuracy rate of 83 per cent. The lead researcher said that easy-to-use testing devices could reduce antibiotic use. She said: "This would have a major impact on the control of malaria, because all current [testing] methods require blood sampling." Malaria kills about 430,000 people a year.

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