WHO Approves 15-Minute Ebola Test

The World Health Organization, WHO, has approved for use, the first rapid blood test for Ebola virus, allowing patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as quickly as possible and put an end to the outbreak that has killed more than 9,300 people.

WHO said ” the antigen tests is rapid and easy to perform takes minutes rather than hours to get a result and also work without electricity and can be used in remote regions.”

The ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, developed by US company Corgenix, searches the blood for a different part of the virus.Trials in West Africa suggests it correctly identifies about 92 per cent of people who have the Ebola virus.

Dr Ben Neuman, a lecturer in virology at the University of Reading, said, “The new test could help to quickly confirm outbreaks in remote areas without the need to send samples to a testing clinic and wait for results, it isn’t about saving the lives of infected people, but it can help in the long run by making it easier and quicker to detect Ebola outbreaks. It can therefore be used at lower health care facilities or in mobile units for patients in remote settings.”

He added that, where possible, the results from the rapid test should be confirmed by the more precise conventional testing.

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