Rapid Ebola Diagnosis Needed
Given the critical importance of early treatment for Ebola, reducing the time between Ebola diagnosis and treatment could dramatically alter the shape and size of the outbreak in West Africa.
One challenge is the absence of a rapid diagnostic test. In this video, Columbia’s Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, University Professor with appointments in epidemiology (Mailman School of Public Health) and medicine (P&S), explains how such a test would transform both treatment and prevention of new infections.
In the demanding clinical environments characteristic of the ongoing crisis, a rapid diagnostic would enable health care workers to identify at the point of care who should begin treatment immediately. This would help focus resources, reduce the transportation burden on strained systems of care, and improve patient outcomes.