PBS NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien Reports on Efforts to Develop a Better Ebola Test

WASHINGTON, DC (June 5, 2015) – In part two of a four-part series on the latest developments in Ebola research, science correspondent Miles O’Brien explores efforts to develop a better method of testing for the Ebola virus. This report will air on the PBS NewsHour Friday, June 52015 (check local listings).

At present, doctors typically cannot detect Ebola until infected individuals become symptomatic. Even then, they must wait for the results of a genetic test to confirm the diagnosis, a complex and expensive process that often takes days to deliver results, especially in resource-poor regions. The difficulty of determining with certainty whether individuals are infected with Ebola poses a major hurdle to containing the disease.

O’Brien travels from a testing center outside of Kambia, Sierra Leone, where the genetic test is used to diagnose Ebola, to the city of Kenema, where researchers experiment with a prototype test that is faster and simpler than the genetic alternative.

These four reports are part of a larger PBS NewsHour series showcasing research and technological innovations with the potential to help treat Ebola or prevent its spread. Support for this series is provided by the National Science Foundation. View past reports in the series here and here. Click here for part one of Cracking Ebola’s Code.

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