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Rapid Ebola Diagnostic Test Kit Approved By WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) approved for use a rapid diagnostic test kit for Ebola that can provide results in 15 minutes and correctly identify 92 percent of patients infected by the disease that has killed more than 9,400 people, mainly in West Africa.

On February 20, the UN health agency announced it had “assessed and … listed the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit [manufactured by Corgenix Medical Corp of the United States] as eligible for procurement to Ebola affected countries.”

The test was evaluated under WHO’s Emergency Assessment and Use, a procedure established to provide minimum quality, safety and performance assurance for diagnostic products in the context of the Ebola emergency, the announcement said.

The new test, which can provide results within 15 minutes, “is able to correctly identify about 92 per cent of Ebola infected patients and 85 per cent of those not infected with the virus,” according to WHO.

In comparison, the turn-around time of current tests for Ebola can vary between 12 and 24 hours.

WHO Spokesman Tarik Jašareviæ said the new test was a little bit less accurate than the test that WHO was currently using, but it was easy to perform, it did not require electricity and it could be used in lower level health care facilities or in mobile units for patients in remote settings.

The WHO spokesman also said that a number of agencies, such as the Médecins Sans Frontières, have expressed interest in purchasing it.

In December, Corgenix was awarded two grants totaling $818,000 to advance development of an Ebola rapid diagnostic test kit. The grants were awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has affected more than 23,000 people with over 9,400 deaths, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. After an increase in reported cases at the end of January, early signs show that the number of cases may show a decrease by the end of February.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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