WHO: Faster, more efficient Ebola test needed

In the World Health Organization's most recent report on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the group urges the need for rapid and safe testing methods to help discover and treat cases faster.

The efforts to contain the disease are stifled by the cumbersome testing currently available, which requires state-of-the-art laboratories that are not always available in these underdeveloped African nations.

WHO's idea for an aggressive and rapid test requires lab support to develop. Current tests take two to six hours for results, with complex procedures needed to ensure accurate results.

While the tests can be done in a day under perfect circumstances, it can be several days of travel over sub-par roads for potential victims and families to acquire results. This extended time increases the time that infected individuals may spread the disease in their communities.

It is because of this that WHO is launching urgent initiatives to stimulate the research and development of testing procedures to speed up the diagnostic time. The first is to break down barriers between diagnostic companies and streamline the testing process.
WHO notes that a test assay of this caliber is achievable.

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