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Texas Professor Invents Breath Monitor That Can Detect The Flu

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - A University of Texas at Arlington professor has invented a breath monitor that can detect the flu.

The device is similar to breathalyzers used by police officers‚ is portable, lightweight and very accurate.

Dr. Perena Gouma, a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, is the inventor and showed off a prototype and explained how a tiny sensor detects the flu virus by zeroing in on a chemical in your breath. And there isn't a long wait for results; Dr. Gouma says it takes only milliseconds for the monitor to detect if someone has the flu.

Testing has revealed that the sensors are almost as accurate as tests conducted in a doctor's office.

Like with most illnesses, early detection of the flu can mean recovering quicker. That is good news for employers and employees who have to take time off of work.

"I think it's going to save a lot of people a lot of trouble [and] a lot of money," said Dr. Gouma. "Because now someone has to go to the doctor's office and then they can infect other people in the doctor's office. Also, it might be an unnecessary visit if they don't have the flu."

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