Colorado Test For Ebola Could Speed Up Diagnosis To 10 Minutes

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Inside the Corgenix lab in Broomfield, revolutionary research is taking place on Ebola.

Scientists at the company are working on a new test — called a lateral flow dipstick type test — that can identify Ebola in 10 minutes, much faster than current methods that can take three days to diagnose.

“I think it’s the best technology for the job that’s needed,” program director Matt Boisen said. “It improves the possibility of them surviving.”

The company said the test works like a hi-tech home pregnancy test. A drop of the patient’s blood is placed on a test strip, which is dropped into a buffer solution.

Two lines show a positive result. One line means the test is negative for Ebola.

“It can be done in the field in a difficult environment like west Africa, central Africa and results are available very quickly,” company CEO Douglass Simpson said.

More than 4,400 people have died from Ebola during the current outbreak.

He said Corgenix received a government grant to study Ebola. The new test is already being used to detect the deadly Lassa virus in west Africa.

Because of clinical trials and other regulations, Simpson expects the Ebola test to get the green light in about a year at the earliest.

“What if the CDC said we need to speed this process up. Could you do that? We’re in sixth gear now. We’re going as fast as we possibly can,” Simpsons said. “It is safe to say Colorado is on the cutting edge of technology in detecting Ebola? Oh, I think so.”

When the test will be available depends on the U.S. government.

RELATED: Colorado Liberian Community Helping Those Struggling With Ebola

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