Coronavirus is an infectious disease that has been confirmed in more than three million people across the world. Scientists are investigating whether your voice could be one of the first signs of COVID-19 infection.
Cases are continuing to rise in the UK, and the government has urged the public to stay at home, to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus further.
People have been advised to remain indoors, as more than 160,000 UK individuals have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The most common coronavirus symptoms include having a high fever, shortness of breath, and a new, continuous cough.
Scientists have now claimed that your voice could be an indicator as to whether you have an infection.
US researchers are investigating whether changes to the way you speak could be an indicator of infection.
They believe that the subtle changes to voices could be a tell-tale sign of whether the body is fighting an infection.
The test doesn’t specifically identify whether someone has coronavirus.
But, it could reveal whether they should be tested for the infection, and whether they’re at risk of developing severe complications.
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These small changes to your voice when fighting an infection include speaking slower, taking small breaths between words, and even a difference to the voice tone.
“For physicians treating COVID-19 infection, one of the most difficult questions has been determining when a patient needs hospitalisation,” said Allegheny Health Network’s system director, Dr Anil Singh.
“We are hopeful that voice analysis may provide valuable information that could help doctors recognise oncoming distress and quickly get patients the treatment they need, potentially preventing critical illness.
“It could also allow patients whose illness is not likely to worsen to stay home, decreasing the risk of exposure to others.”
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The scientists are now assessing whether their voice test could be an effective early test for COVID-19.
If the results are promising, they will take the test to the next level: clinical trials.
The UK government, meanwhile, is aiming for at least 100,000 coronavirus tests every day by the end of April.
The current test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of the throat.
The test assesses whether you currently have the virus, as opposed to having had it at some point in the past.
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The most common symptoms of coronavirus include a fever, and a new, continuous cough.
Anybody that feels hot to touch on their chest or back could be showing early coronavirus symptoms.
Similarly, anyone that’s been coughing more than usual for longer than a one-hour period, or if they’ve had at least three coughing episodes every 24 hours, should self-isolate.
If you’re worried that you may have the infection, you should quarantine yourself for at least 14 days.
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