Doctors in West Africa have recently received the green light from the World Health Organization to begin using a rapid test to diagnose Ebola. Until this development, doctors would test a patient’s blood for presence of the virus’ nucleic acid. The testing had to be done in a lab, and would take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours to perform. However, the new test, known as, ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test can be performed in just 15 minutes and works by testing a patient’s blood for the Ebola antigen protein. The ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test is not quite as effective as the traditional Ebola test, but it was able to correctly identify 92% of positive cases and 85% of negative cases. While the World Health Organization does recommend follow-up lab tests for patients who have received the ReEBOV, developers are confident the test can help to determine which patients should go into quarantine immediately.
(Source: Popular Science)