Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Associated Press
Ebola health care workers carry the body of a middle aged man that they suspected of dying from the Ebola, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Dr. Robert Fuller didn't hesitate to go to Indonesia to treat survivors of the 2004 tsunami, to Haiti to help after the 2010 earthquake or to the Philippines after a devastating typhoon last year. But he's given up on going to West Africa to care for Ebola patients this winter.  (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)

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The World Health Organization has approved the first rapid test for Ebola in a potential breakthrough for ending an epidemic that has killed almost 10,000 people in West Africa, it said on Friday.

The test, developed by U.S. firm Corgenix Medical Corp, is less accurate than the standard test but is easy to perform, does not require electricity, and can give results within 15 minutes, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

"It's a first rapid test. It's definitely a breakthrough," he said.

The standard laboratory test has a turnaround time of 12-24 hours. While the Corgenix test is not failsafe, it could quickly identify patients who need quarantine and make it much easier to verify rapidly any new outbreaks. (REUTERS)


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