Updated on 1 July 2015
The rapid test identified 100 percent of all infected patients in acomapritive study conducted by researchers
Singapore: Researchers have unveiled a new diagnostic test for Ebola that can prove to be a game changer in early detection and diagnosis of the disease. The study is published in The Lancet elaborated that the new test can accurately predict within minutes if an individual has Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as conventional lab tests in a comparative study conducted by a research team .
With commercialization and approval, public health officials may soon be able to screen patients for Ebola at border crossings and hospitals with a finger-prick blood test in a jiffy. The new test was evaluated in two government-run treatment centers in Sierra Leone, one of the hardest-hit countries in the epidemic that has killed more than 11,200 people in West Africa as of this week.
The team said that the new test is faster than and as sensitive as a conventional laboratory-based molecular method used for clinical testing during the recent outbreak in Sierra Leone. The rapid test identified 100 percent of all infected patients who also got positive results with the lab test.
"Delay in diagnosis result not only in the failure to diagnose and treat Ebola-infected patients, but also in individuals without Ebola being admitted to holding units where they may be subsequently infected with the virus," explained Ms Nira Pollock, an associate medical director of the infectious diseases diagnostic laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital who is a co-author of the study.