Scream Your Lungs Out for This New COVID-19 Test

Peter van Wees, inventor of the COVID-19 scream test with his invention. Source: Reuters

Dutch inventor, Peter Van Wees, has come up with a COVID-19 test that requires people to scream or sing.

Do you, like million others, find the nasal swab test a bit unpleasant? Does the thought of having a swab up your nose make you want to scream? Good news. Now, to test for coronavirus, you can just scream instead of having a swab pushed up your nose. Thanks to the Dutch inventor, Peter Van Wees, a COVID-19 scream test can potentially become the future of coronavirus testing.

The invention, called QuBA (Quick Breath Analyzer), is currently in its testing stage. Participants are placed into a sterile, air-locked cabin where they either scream their lungs out or sing. The aim is to produce as many particles as possible for analysis. The emitted particles are then collected with an industrial air purifier and analyzed for the virus. The whole process takes only about three minutes.

If you are spreading, and yelling, and screaming, you’re spreading tens of thousands of particles that contain coronavirus.

Peter Van Wees, inventor of QUBA
A picture of the QuBA virus detector located near a coronavirus testing center in Amsterdam.

A Faster and Easier Alternative

The device uses a nanometer-scale sizing device to identify the virus in the emitted particles. According to Peter, the virus appears as clusters the size of the virus when the person is infected. The testing chamber is currently placed near a coronavirus testing centre in Amsterdam. This allows him to recruit subjects who have already received a conventional COVID-19 test. Therefore, he can compare their results to his own.

If someone is infectious with the coronavirus, the numbers of that specific diameter will go way up

Peter Van Wees, inventor of QUBA

Studies have shown that talking loudly can expel more virus particles that can travel further in the air. Loud speech, such as a scream or yelling, produces larger droplets that can carry more pathogens within them. On the other hand, singing can contribute to the ‘superspreading’ of infections.

It is too early to say how well the device will work. However, Peter believes his device can serve as a potential screening tool at schools, airports, or concerts. For now, the invention serves as a fun and some can even say a ‘therapeutic’ method of testing for coronavirus.


Asadi, Sima et al. “Aerosol emission and superemission during human speech increase with voice loudness.” Scientific reports vol. 9,1 2348. 20 Feb. 2019, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-38808-z


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