Obama Administration Pushes for Faster Ebola Test

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday announced a contract to develop a faster test for Ebola, as well as grants for nine regional treatment centers.

HHS announced a $1.8 million deal with a Pennsylvania company, OraSure, to develop a faster test to diagnose Ebola that provides results within 20 minutes. The procedure uses a drop of blood or saliva on a test strip.

Though Ebola has now faded from the public conversation in the U.S., a Texas hospital official testified in October that the 24-hour wait for results of a test was part of the problem in the response to Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the U.S.

His case, and the subsequent spread of the virus to two nurses, set off fears of a public outbreak.