Bulgarian National Radio © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Lung thermometer detects coronavirus faster than a PCR test

Photo: BNT

A device as big as a telephone receiver can detect the presence of Covid-19 even before the virus could be detected by a PCR. It has been developed by a team of Italian, Spanish and Bulgarian scientists and is already used in diagnosing and tracking the infection.

Eight exhalations into the device are sufficient to conclude whether inflammation has occurred in the airways. In this way, the temperature of the lungs can be measured and а newly emerged infection can be caught early. With a coronavirus infection, like the flu, the temperature is thought to rise before clinical symptoms appear.

“It is a device that we can conditionally call a thermometer for the lungs”, explains Prof. Todor Popov from the Saint Ivan Rilski University Multi-Profile Hospital, a leading scientist in the international project. “In principle, there are various types of thermometers and they give us an idea of ​​whether there is any inflammation in the body. However, when we measure the temperature of the exhaled air, we get information not only about the general temperature of the body, but also about the condition of the respiratory system and how much inflammation there is in it.”

The device is designed for patients with asthma, because the disease causes inflammation of the respiratory tract and therefore the temperature rises. And since a similar process takes place with a Covid-19 infection, the international team decided to use the already licensed equipment to monitor the dynamics of the temperature. This is done not only in Italy and Spain, where there are many more patients, but also in Bulgaria.

In Bulgaria, first the so-called thermometers were given out to people in contact with coronavirus patients. With the help of these devices, they measure their temperature in the morning and evening, and the values are automatically registered on a special website and it is monitored whether an infection will develop in their lungs.

“Here we are talking about telemedicine, about remote measurement of the most modern type”, says Prof. Todor Popov. “In this way the patient does not come into contact with another person and avoids infecting them, and we understand how the infection progresses and try to track it over time. When did the temperature of the exhaled air start to rise, when did the symptoms appear – things that are important from the point of view of disease control.”

In the opinion of Prof. Todor Popov, the coronavirus epidemic in Bulgaria is subsiding, but whether this will be a lasting trend and a new wave will not follow, no one can predict.

"Talking about things that we still do not understand, in what way they will manifest themselves, apart from being irresponsible, is also a sign of excessive self-confidence”, adds Prof. Todor Popov.  “I personally do not attempt to make guesses about something different from our previous experience. In the absence of sufficient other information, precautions are the only way in which we can limit the infection. The coronavirus undergoes changes over time and is certainly affected by the season. This is something new for all of us. ”

English Rossitsa Petcova

Photos: BNT and library

More from category

On Bulgarians in Albania in a historical context and more

The communist government in Bulgaria wasted the strategic chance of the Bulgarian community in Albania to study its mother tongue in schools In 1948 Bulgaria refusedto send teachers for the Bulgarian community in Albania,..

published on 7/4/20 6:20 AM

Strict anti-epidemic measures at Sofia Airport

Covid-19 continues to affect traveling both to Bulgaria and from this country to other European countries and the world. Despite recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Bulgarian citizens to refrain from unnecessary trips, if one..

published on 7/2/20 2:38 PM

July Morning – the day bringing the free-spirited together

There are many unofficial rituals and celebrations on the calendar, each with their own symbols, but as 1 July approaches generations of Bulgarians turn their minds to a classic rock song – July Morning. Seeing the sun come up on the..

published on 6/30/20 2:48 PM