A key development to watch:
Ebola blood testing kit fits in a suitcase and detects the virus 10 TIMES faster
Jan 09, 2015 Jasper Hamill
German scientists have designed a super-efficient ebola testing kit which is so small it could be carried as hand luggage on an airline.
The life-saving suitcase can detect traces of the deadly virus in just 15 minutes - which is almost 10 times faster than the current testing kit.
It was designed by scientists at the German Primate Centre in Goettingen and is intended to be used by doctors battling the disease in rural areas of Africa.
The suitcase works away from the mod-cons of a traditional testing lab, allowing a speedy diagnosis of the diease.
Currently, blood samples must be transported over long distances to testing labs.
With a death rate of up to 90% and quick treatment critical to chances of survival, any delay is likely to be lethal.
Five of the suitcases are now being sent to Guinea, where the current outbreak is thought to have started.
“The early detection of Ebola infected patients will lead to a more effective virus control since medical staff can identify and isolate confirmed Ebola cases more rapidly,” said Dr. Christiane Stahl-Hennig, head of the unit of infection models at the German Primate Centre.