Speed Reads


WHO approves first rapid blood test for Ebola

The Ebola virus

Ebola tests could soon take as little time as 15 minutes.

The World Health Organization has approved the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, created by Corgenix, a U.S. company, searches patients' blood for the Ebola virus. BBC News reports that after trials in West Africa, the test correctly identified 92 percent of people infected by Ebola.

"While less accurate, the antigen test is rapid, easy to perform and does not require electricity," the WHO told BBC News. "It can therefore be used at lower health care facilities or in mobile units for patients in remote settings."

Conventional Ebola testing requires a laboratory analysis of blood for fragments of the Ebola virus. The WHO recommended that results from the rapid test be confirmed by conventional methods, which are more precise but take between 12 and 24 hours to provide results. Doctors hope the new test will confirm outbreaks in remote areas more efficiently.