Rapid Ebola Diagnosis Needed

November 12, 2014

Wafaa El-Sadr: Faster Diagnostic Ebola Test 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.

more rapid ebola diagnosis could dramatically change course of outbreak
More rapid diagnosis of Ebola in West Africa could dramatically change the outbreak. Photo: Chief Petty Officer Jerrold Diederich/ U.S. Army Africa

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.

Tags

ebola, Wafaa El Sadr, West Africa