Scientists have developed a breathalyzer to test for malaria. The could help detect the deadly much earlier than other and thus help millions of people around the world. The researchers, from Washington University in St Louis, USA, say that people with malaria give off a "breath print". The breathalyzer detects the that malaria creates as the person breathes into the device. One of the the device detects is identical to a natural that attracts malaria-spreading insects such as mosquitos. The device is in its early stages of development. The researchers say it could lead to a new, cheap and easy to help diagnose malaria.
The prototype breathalyzer detects six odours or chemical compounds to spot of malaria. The researchers did tests on 35 children in Malawi. They took samples using the breathalyzer to test the of the machine. It accurately identified 29 of the children as having malaria. This was a rate of 83 per cent. Lead researcher Audrey Odom John said: "It's clear that if we had , easy-to-use, reliable diagnostic devices…we could reduce unnecessary use. This would have a major on the control of malaria, because all current diagnostic require blood sampling." Malaria currently kills around 430,000 a year around the .