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WHO Approves New 15-Minute Ebola Test

Dana Driskill | Good Magazine   in  · ·
February 23, 2015

In the fight against Ebola, medical professionals have long asked for a test that can quickly and easily identify the deadly virus that has killed nearly 10,000 in western Africa.

The World Health Organization announced Friday that it has approved a new rapid test for Ebola, which gives results in 15 minutes. The new test, called ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, lives up to its name; it’s much faster than the standard laboratory test, which requires 12 to 24 hours for results, according to Reuters. And the new test is streamlined to use much less equipment: it’s simply a piece of paper and a test tube. With no electricity required to operate and its small size, the test can be carried and used in remote areas.

“It’s very similar to a pregnancy test,” Doug Simpson, who designed and produced the test at the Corginex Medical Corporation, told NPR. “A drop of blood is placed on the paper, and if two lines appear, then it’s positive for Ebola.”

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