New Diagnostic Testing for Ebola Virus Has Been Developed

Diagnostic testing is done for a variety of reasons. Its most important role is to diagnose a disorder. Other reasons will include evaluation of the disease’s severity and monitoring of the treatment’s response.

It can also be used for more than one purpose. A blood test, for instance, can be done to know your RBC count. It’ll be repeated after you’ve undergone treatment. This is done so your doctor will know as to whether or not the treatment is effective.

What fluids are analyzed?

The most commonly used fluids are the following:
- Blood
- Urine
- Synovial fluid

Sometimes, your sweat, saliva and other fluids from your digestive tract are extracted to be analyzed. There are times when diagnostic testing must only be done when the disorder is present.

Ebola virus diagnostic testing

There’s a new diagnostic testing for Ebola virus. It’s been made by IES Diagnostic, Inc. This is surely a great turning point to help us fight against Ebola. Unlike the old method, this new screening can be used as early as 24 hours after the patient has made contact with someone suffering from this condition. This is a great improvement since the old method may take days to weeks before the virus is detected.

The new diagnostic testing is known as Rapid Ebola Pre-Symptom test. Within one day of exposure, the virus can be detected. Researchers are now anticipating that there will be more tests to follow that can detect the virus within a few hours of infection.

How it detects the virus?

It utilizes a drop of blood to detect, not the virus, but the interferons being produced right after infected with the virus. These interferons are known as signature. They’re produced only when the patient’s cells are infected. The test will find that signature before the virus itself can be identified.

As previously mentioned, other diagnostic tests are only effective when the virus has already replicated to a certain level that the person is already contagious.

Because of this development, we can now avoid lengthy procedures and unnecessary quarantine. The old method has limited sensitivity that may result in giving out false negative. This means that a person without the virus will still be quarantined, which may cause unintentional spread of this deadly disease while it decreases chances of survival.

The new diagnostic test for Ebola virus, on other hand, can detect the effects of the virus as early as possible, thereby, reducing chances of virus being spread.

Risks and results

Every diagnostic testing entails some risks. An injury may occur during the test. You may also need to undergo further testing, i.e. if the result turned out to be abnormal. This means that you need to pay more for it.

This is one of the reasons many doctors will only request tests if they deemed the examination to be necessary in helping them diagnose a disease.

As regards to the latest diagnostic testing for Ebola virus, it’s not yet available in the Philippines. It’s also too early to say if this test could indeed help in diagnosing the virus.


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