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Japan scientists urge use of PCR tests to detect COVID superspreaders

Genetic material value reveals infectiousness of patients, researchers say

A traveler takes a PCR test for coronavirus at Narita Airport.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- As Japan contends with surging COVID-19 infections just three months before the Tokyo Olympics, a team of researchers has a suggestion for the government; Use PCR tests to identify highly contagious people.

Polymerase chain reaction tests detect a tiny amount of genetic materials from the virus in samples in a process called amplification. In tests administered by local governments in Japan, this copying cycle is repeated 40 times.

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