Health

WHO approves 15-minute Ebola test by Corgenix

A doctor works in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Centre for Disease Control in Entebbe, about 37 km (23 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu

A doctor works in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Centre for Disease Control in Entebbe, about 37 km (23 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu

The World Health Organization has approved the first rapid test for Ebola in a potential breakthrough for ending an epidemic that has killed almost 10,000 people in West Africa, it said on Friday.

The test, developed by Corgenix Medical Corp, is less accurate than the standard PCR test but is easy to perform, does not require electricity, and can give results within 15 minutes, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

Procurement and roll-out of the test kits will not begin immediately because the company is still working out costing and needs a week or two more to finish administrative procedures with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he said.