Security screening and threat detection tech firm Smiths Detection has said that its BioFlash air sampler is able to detect variants of COVID-19 and can help to prevent their spread. Smiths has said that BioFlash is able to detect the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Kappa, Delta and Delta Plus variants, with results on its ability to detect the Lambda variant likely to arrive in the Autumn.

The device’s ability to detect airborne COVID-19 variants has been confirmed by the United States Army of Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Furthermore, following detection of airborne COVID-19 in campus buildings at several United States universities, the BioFlash has been successful at helping to prevent the spread of the virus.

Smiths Detection Managing Director Warren Mino said: “Emerging variants are a threat to pandemic recovery; however, mitigation strategies that utilise BioFlash will have an advantage. BioFlash works by collecting aerosols and identifies the presence of dangerous pathogens using sensitive, specific, and rapid detection in near-real time without laboratory analysis.”

“Not only can BioFlash detect COVID-19 and its variants, it can be used by anyone, giving them immediate results, in minutes not days, which helps stop the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens.”

One of the universities to use the BioFlash has been the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The university’s Environmental Health and Safety Director Mike Pound commented: “It has been a great asset to have this equipment at UMBC.”

“As everyone knows, you need a layered protection strategy to combat COVID. BioFlash is easy and fast to use which makes it a critical part of our mitigation strategy to help prevent transmission.”

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