Africa / Health / Middle East

World Health Organization approves 1st quick test for Ebola

 

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 file photo, Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General in charge of the Ebola operational response of the World Health Organization (WHO), informs the media about the WHO update on Ebola outbreak in West Africa, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Health Organization says officials are now focused on ending the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak rather than just slowing the virus’ spread. In an update published Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, the U.N. health agency said the three most affected countries _ Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia _ reported fewer than 100 cases in the past week, for the first time since June. Dr. Bruce Aylward, who is leading WHO’s Ebola response, warned that despite the progress made, the virus still isn’t under control.  (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi, File)

FILE – In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 file photo, Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General in charge of the Ebola operational response of the World Health Organization (WHO), informs the media about the WHO update on Ebola outbreak in West Africa, during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Health Organization says officials are now focused on ending the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak rather than just slowing the virus’ spread. In an update published Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, the U.N. health agency said the three most affected countries _ Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia _ reported fewer than 100 cases in the past week, for the first time since June. Dr. Bruce Aylward, who is leading WHO’s Ebola response, warned that despite the progress made, the virus still isn’t under control. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi, File)

BERLIN (AP) — The World Health Organization has approved a quick test for Ebola that will dramatically cut the time it takes to determine with reasonable accuracy whether someone is infected with the deadly virus.

The Geneva-based U.N. agency says the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit, made by the U.S. company Corgenix, meets sufficient quality, safety and performance requirements. WHO said Friday, February 20, the new test can provide results within 15 minutes by detecting an Ebola protein. In trials it correctly identified 92 percent of the patients with Ebola and 85 percent of those not infected.

Until now, Ebola tests have been mainly conducted in laboratories. These gene-based tests are more accurate but can take between 12 and 24 hours.

Almost 9,400 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

 

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