Ebola WHO Approves 15-Minute Test For Ebola

Rapid test kit can correctly identify about 92% of Ebola infected patients and clear 85% of those not infected.

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The first rapid test for the Ebola virus, which can deliver a result in 15 minutes, has been approved by the World Health Organisation for use in west Africa.

A quick and easy test that can be used in rural African settings rather than relying on the transportation of samples to distant labs is much needed in the Ebola epidemic, and several companies have been working to produce one. The ReEBOV Antigen rapid test kit, which now has a WHO seal of approval, is made by Corgenix in the US.

Instead of testing for the genetic material of the virus – its nucleic acid – the test detects the Ebola protein. It is less definitive, but trials have shown that it can correctly identify about 92% of Ebola-infected patients and clear 85% of those not infected with the virus.

Delays in confirming that people have the Ebola virus have led to large numbers being held in isolation centres, where those who were virus-free may become infected. The current test takes around four to six hours, but delays in transporting samples to labs and getting results back can mean a diagnosis takes several days.

A rapid test will be of enormous help to health centres and hospitals. It means they can quickly discover which patients arriving with a fever have Ebola and which have something else, commonly malaria. The uncertainty has led to clinics either converting to Ebola holding centres or closing altogether, leaving people with other illnesses with nowhere to go.

Now that the numbers of cases have fallen – there were 128 in the week to 15 February – the rapid test is not as urgently needed as it once was, but it will still help in the drive to get everybody who is infected identified and treated.

“The new antigen test is not a game-changer, but it is another useful tool in the fight against Ebola,” said Dr Ben Neuman, lecturer in virology at the University of Reading. “The new test is small, cheap and portable, but is less sensitive than the gold-standard test that is used to diagnose early-stage Ebola in the clinics now.

“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. The new test 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.”

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Kintampo waterfalls accident Angry gods caused Kintampo tree falls-...bullet
2 Kintampo Waterfalls Accident Ambulance conveying Kintampo victims...bullet
3 Kintampo Waterfall Accident Tourist site closed down indefinitelybullet
4 Akrasi Sarpong High court convicts former NACOB boss for contemptbullet
5 Prophecy I predicted Kintampo accident - Prophet claims [Video]bullet
6 Cyber Crime 29 Nigerians, one Ghanaian arrested for 'Sakawa'bullet
7 Condolence Kintampo waterfalls accident "very sad and...bullet
8 Security Ghana Armed Forces resumes 2017 recruitment exercisebullet
9 Kintampo Accident Bawumia visits bereaved familiesbullet
10 Unauthorised Structures AMA to demolish illegal...bullet

Top Videos

1 Prophecy I predicted Kintampo accident - Prophetbullet
2 Ghana@60 Agya Koo embarrassed Ghana at Independence Day - Asiedu Nketiabullet
3 Health Alert Fufu is killing Africans - Mensah Otabilbullet
4 Obinim What happen'd when we fact checked Obinim's Bible knowledgebullet
5 Video Taxi driver terrified after an encounter with a ghostbullet
6 Meet "The Beast" President Obama's Cadillac that's more tank...bullet
7 Watch Kumchacha delivers Counselor Lutterodt from 'demons'bullet
8 In Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s 70 year-old aide marries...bullet
9 Video Police officer attacked at Flagstaff Housebullet
10 Vitiligo Enam Honya - is challenging what you think...bullet

News