HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A saliva test sounds way better than a swab up your nose.
But how about a test where all you simply have to do is cough and spit?
Researchers at Hudson Alpha in Huntsville are working to get this version of a COVID test out to the public.
It's called the CoughDX Cup.
Instead of having a swab stuck up your nose, you can cough into a cup to be tested for COVID-19.
The best part, it only takes one or two days to get the results.
Dr. Jian Han, a faculty investigator with HudsonAlpha says the CoughDx cup cuts down many steps.
“Each cup has a unique barcode, once you cough into and spit into the cup, scan the barcode, you are linking your information with that sample,” Han said.
So a lab technician will not have to look at each sample and enter the name in a computer, cutting down hours of processing time.
And you don't have to wait in line to have someone give you the nasal swab test.
Dr. Han says the cup is also inexpensive and the materials to make it are readily available.
Here’s how it works: You cough forcefully into the cup at least five times. Then you spit at least one teaspoon worth of your saliva.
Right now the CoughDx cup is in the clinical trial phase.
Students at Birmingham Southern have already gotten their hands on one.
“They take a sample at home or in the dorm, and drop off in the universities and we get all the cups back in our lab and next day we give them the results,” Dr. Han said.
The brains behind the operation, Dr. Wenjing Pan and Dr. Han met at a SARS outbreak conference in China.
And more than a decade later they've produced the CoughDX Cup.
“I’m feeling like I’m living the dream all the time,” Dr. Pan said.
“It’s an unusual time. And we have a good solution and we are rolling it out as fast as we can,” Dr. Han said.
Dr. Han tells us once the clinical trial is over and the FDA approves CoughDx Cup, you’ll be able to find it online and at Walgreens.
He says he expects that to happen in about a month.
We’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available.