South Africa NICD Ebola Report

October 3, 2014EBOLANICD

by Christy Craig

While cases of the 2014 Ebola outbreak have thus far been limited to the West African region, countries across the continent have joined in global collaboration to respond the crisis. Recognizing the importance of rapid lab testing, and observing that this crucial step has become impacted by the overwhelming volume of cases in the current outbreak, South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) - an IANPHI member - has developed a Mobile Laboratory Unit (MLU) to conduct testing for Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. Between August 25 and September 21, the MLU tested over 900 samples, reaching a daily diagnostic capacity of over 80 samples.

NICD’s Prof. Janusz Paweska, Ms. Chantel Le Roux, Mr. Gunther Meier, and Dr. Petrus Jansen van Vuren have published a full report of the MLU’s work which also outlines the lab’s testing results, challenges of operating the unit, and needs for additional funding to continue its work. Read the full report here.

Image courtesy of CDC/PHIL 2014