27-Feb-15 10:00 AM  CST

WHO Approves New Test For Ebola Vaccine

In a year of mostly discouraging news concerning Ebola the World Health Organization (WHO) made an announcement this week that may help healthcare professionals diagnosis the virus much faster. This week WHO announced approval of the first rapid test for Ebola. Corgenix Medical Corp manufacturers the first rapid test for Ebola, which experts state is less accurate than the current test from PCR but still may prove to be advancement in diagnosing the Ebola virus. Corgenix’s Ebola test despite its potential for being less accurate does not require the use of electricity and results may be available in as little as 15 minutes.

Although Corgenix is still in the process of completing administrative procedures with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as determining cost of the test, many believe this latest tool in the fight against Ebola will prove to be one of the most monumental. The test, ReEBOL Antigen Rapid Test, works very much the same way a pregnancy test works. A small sampling of the patient’s blood is dropped on a testing strip and if two lines appear on the strip the result is positive for the Ebola virus.

While the test in general is seen as a positive move in the fight against Ebola, researchers warn that it is far from perfect. For instance many health professionals worry about the test’s safety, because it uses the blood of a potentially infected person. Moreover, the test must still be conducted in a biosafety cabinet, which makes portability of the test much more difficult, especially when those that need served the most often live in remote villages. Approximately 15% of people who are not infected with Ebola test positive for the virus giving the test a relatively high rate of false positive. The test is still not available in West Africa and WHO states it may be several weeks before the test is available.

 

 

Resources:

 

Doucleff, M., (2015) “15 minute Ebola test approved for fighting the epidemic “National Public Radio, http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/02/20/387760706/15-minute-ebola-test-approved-for-fighting-the-epidemic, retrieved 21. February 2015

 

Fox News, (2015) “ WHO approves 15 minute Ebola test by Corgenix”, Fox News, http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/02/20/who-approves-15-minute-ebola-test-by-corgenix/, retrieved, 21. February 2015


For additional information on this article, please contact:
 
Kelley Simmons
 
Source: Sandy Andrews, CPhT, BLS  

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