Ebola Rapid Diagnostic Kit Developed by UK Scientists in Sierra Leone
Monday, March 30, 2015
A rapid Ebola diagnostic kit similar to a pregnancy kit has been developed by British military scientists and NHS medics in Sierra Leone.
It can be administered at the bedside and return its first results within 20 minutes, slashing dramatically the normal 24-hour turnaround for lab results.
Early bedside tests in the Connaught hospital in Freetown have shown a 100% detection rate, said Dr Oliver Johnson, who heads a partnership between the UK’sKing’s Health Partners and the hospital.
“We have 10,000 of these kits sitting in Sierra Leone waiting to go if we can get the approval,” says Johnson.
Johnson says if the kit is approved by the relevant health authorities it could transform the admissions process, allowing doctors to quickly isolate Ebola patients and release others for treatment.
“It would mean patients who don’t have Ebola could be prioritised and go straight to surgery or referred for further treatment to general wards. Ebola symptoms are so similar to other illnesses like malaria, even appendicitis,” he said.