"Breakthrough" Ebola test kit unveiled

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Ebola test laboratory in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount, Liberia. UNMEER/Martine Perret

A new test kit to identify the deadly Ebola infection in just 15 minutes has raised hope that new advances can be made fighting the disease.

Ebola has killed almost 9,500 people in West Africa, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The test been described as a "breakthrough" by the World Health Organization.

It will be used in conjunction with the existing tests, as Stephanie Castro reports.

The Ebola testing kit looks set to be rolled out imminently to fight the killer disease, World Health Organization officials said on Friday.

The development’s crucial because the test can identify the Ebola virus in 15 minutes, WHO said after giving its approval to the kit.

It can be used in remote areas as it doesn’t require electricity or a high level of training.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told journalists that the new test was “a little less accurate” than the longer PCR test which should still be used to confirm infections.

“It’s clearly an important information, because it’s the first rapid test that can give results in 15 minutes, so it is definitely a breakthrough.”

The test has been developed by US firm Corgenix Medical Corp

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration: 49″

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