An Ebola treatment center in Guinea is to begin trials on the effectiveness of a rapid testing mobile lab that experts hope will reduce Ebola testing times to as little as 15 minutes.
The mobile lab which is roughly similar in size to a laptop may prove a crucial diagnostic tool that can help Ebola front-line workers and doctors to quickly isolate infected people from the non-infected.
Until recently, lack of rapid testing technologies posed significant challenges in isolating the disease in outbreak hotspots as doctors routinely waited days for testing samples to be sent to European laboratories before being sent back to West Africa with the results.
Researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal are conducting the rapid testing trial with support from the international health charity, The Wellcome Trust.
"A reliable, 15-minute test that can confirm cases of Ebola would be a key tool for effective management of the Ebola outbreak," said Wellcome's Val Snewin. "It not only gives patients a better chance of survival, but it prevents transmission of the virus to other people."