The World Health Organisation has approved a quick test for Ebola that will dramatically cut the time it takes to determine with reasonable accuracy whether someone is infected with the deadly virus.
The Geneva-based UN agency said the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit, made by the US company Corgenix, meets sufficient quality, safety and performance requirements.
WHO said today that the new test can provide results within 15 minutes by detecting an Ebola protein. In trials it correctly identified 92% of the patients with Ebola and 85% of those not infected.
Until now, Ebola tests have been mainly conducted in laboratories. These gene-based tests are more accurate but can take between 12 and 24 hours.
Almost 9,400 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa.