Johns Hopkins microbiologists develop coronavirus screening test

Posted at 9:27 AM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 09:29:41-04

BALTIMORE — Two Johns Hopkins microbiologists have developed an in-house coronavirus screening test that may soon allow the health system to test as many as 1,000 people per day.

Karen Carroll, M.D., and Heba Mostafa, M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D are the microbiologists leading this.

“We will be able to diagnose more cases. This will allow the control of exposure,” said Mostafa, assistant professor of pathology and director of the molecular virology laboratory at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Johns Hopkins says this is important because people can learn quickly if they have COVID-19 and so doctors can test people with whom those patients came in contact.

Johns Hopkins used the test, which analyzes a nasal or oral swab, for the first time on March 11, and about 85 tests were performed in the first three days.

According to Johns Hopkins, the test returns results in about 24 hours, and the doctors say they hope to shorten that time to as little as three hours.