Some researchers say simple home tests could be a way to stop future pandemics. Virus tests that are so inexpensive that everyone can run them several times a week can make an infected person really stay home and not risk or be ignored – believe among others, Bjorn Hugberg, professor of biophysics at the Karolinska Institute, who studied the model.
A swab sample is taken from the nose or throat. If you have viral particles, they will stick to this test line.
It is called the antigen-f test It’s somewhat reminiscent of a regular pregnancy test – a plastic stick with a small window in which a clear streak appears after ten to fifteen minutes if you’re contagious. The tests aren’t one hundred percent, but they are relatively good at knowing if and when you are infected, because they give results precisely when you shed so many viruses.
The idea is that each person should be able to regularly test themselves so that those affected can self-isolate.
Today, FHM recommends Rapid tests are used in health and elderly care, and there are differing opinions among researchers and authorities about whether it makes sense to use them on such a large scale, at the population level.
Bjorn Hogeberg colleagues have conducted model studies that in theory show that you can suppress the infection, even if not everyone shows, and even if the test is not 100 percent.
The method has only been tested so far Widespread in one case, in Slovakia last year, as the infection decreased. But it is unclear exactly what the effect of the mass testing has been, as other measures have been taken at the same time. Despite this, Björn Högberg thinks we can actually do that now to learn before the next pandemics.
But can you really get everyone to put a stick in their throat a few times a week?
Maybe it’s about what we can imagine, I mean a hundred years ago when people thought it was extremely uncomfortable to brush their teeth. But you, as it were, today accepted that you must do it. It might be the same, says Björn Hogeberg, professor of biophysics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
You can hear more about group tests and other suggestions on how to deal with future epidemics at Vetenskapsradion in depth.