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New fast Ebola test can help fight the world's second worst epidemic

Right now, the second largest Ebola eruption in history is furious in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As of this month, more than 420 cases and 240 deaths had been reported. Rapid response from the World Health Organization and other public health groups has worked tirelessly to contain the spread of the virus since the first patients were diagnosed in the politically unstable province of North Kivu in the late summer. Despite the most rigorous interventions due to healthcare providers that are possible, given the social climate and placement of several experimental vaccines – approved for human administration prior to approval of the Agency's approval under a compliant use protocol &#821 1; the occurrence of Ebola has more than doubled since September. A factor that contributes to the challenge of erosion is the lack of fast and accurate diagnostic tests. At present, suppliers must withdraw blood from suspect patients and send the samples to a laboratory for analysis. This process takes several days, and during that time, people who are infected can continue to move through society when they become quarantined. However, in a potential game breakthrough breakthrough, an international research team has developed a portable battery-operated device that can detect the presence of Ebola virus particles in a small blood sample in less than 30 minutes. Evaluations of the unit, performed in monkeys as well as in human field trials in Guinea and Senegal, showed that it was correctly identified 90 percent of positive Ebola cases and accounted…

Right now, the second largest Ebola eruption in history is furious in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As of this month, more than 420 cases and 240 deaths had been reported. Rapid response from the World Health Organization and other public health groups has worked tirelessly to contain the spread of the virus since the first patients were diagnosed in the politically unstable province of North Kivu in the late summer. Despite the most rigorous interventions due to healthcare providers that are possible, given the social climate and placement of several experimental vaccines – approved for human administration prior to approval of the Agency’s approval under a compliant use protocol &#821

1; the occurrence of Ebola has more than doubled since September.

A factor that contributes to the challenge of erosion is the lack of fast and accurate diagnostic tests. At present, suppliers must withdraw blood from suspect patients and send the samples to a laboratory for analysis. This process takes several days, and during that time, people who are infected can continue to move through society when they become quarantined.

However, in a potential game breakthrough breakthrough, an international research team has developed a portable battery-operated device that can detect the presence of Ebola virus particles in a small blood sample in less than 30 minutes.

Evaluations of the unit, performed in monkeys as well as in human field trials in Guinea and Senegal, showed that it was correctly identified 90 percent of positive Ebola cases and accounted for only 2.1 percent of false negatives.

Excitingly, the test also provides simultaneous results for malaria and Lassa fever – two potentially fatal febrile diseases with initial symptoms similar to Ebola.

A schematic view of the new SERS-based test device. The vial containing dried reagents requires only buffer and a blood sample to detect Ebola, Malaria and Lassa in 30 minutes. D. Sebba et al., Science Translational Medicine, 2018


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