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UTA Professor Invents Breath Monitor To Detect Flu

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - It's a revolutionary device that makes it possible to diagnose flu cases at home.

University of Texas Arlington Professor, Dr. Perena Gouma, invented a flu breathalyzer.

"I think it's going to save a lot of people a lot of trouble, and a lot of money," says Dr. Gouma. "Now, someone has to go to the doctor's office, and the virus can infect other people. It might be an unnecessary visit if they don't have the flu."

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center ER Physician Ashkan Bidgoli says the method to diagnose the flu virus takes around half an hour.

"Right now basically we're using a nasal swab to detect the flu in all ages," says Dr. Bidgoli. "It can be uncomfortable and cumbersome, especially for younger kids."

With the breathalyzer, sensors (smaller than a grain of rice) zero in on a chemical in the breath. Dr. Gouma says it can pinpoint the virus in just milliseconds.

Earlier detection could mean a shorter flu cycle.

Clinical trials still have to be done, but the hope is for the breathalyzer to eventually be available in drugstores, and to the public.

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