GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organiza-tion 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 Afri-ca, it said on Friday.
The test, developed by US firm Corgenix Medi-cal Corp, is less accurate than the standard test but is easy to perform, does not require electri-city, 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.
Procurement and roll-out of the test kits will not begin immediately because the company is still working out costing and needs a week or two more to finish administrative procedures with
the US Food and Drug Administration, Jasarevic said.