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Investment In, Prioritizing Diagnostics Vital To Containing Ebola, Other Outbreaks

Nature: Where are the Ebola diagnostics from last time?
Lieselotte Cnops, postdoctoral researcher in the neglected tropical diseases unit at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, and colleagues

“…Diagnostics are fundamental to containing outbreaks. Without such tests, it is impossible to trace whether people with the disease have infected others, whether the virus persists in survivors, or to investigate the cause of deaths. … [T]he various Ebola diagnostic approaches need to be evaluated and the best ones prioritized. Most importantly, developers must be incentivized to sustain their investment in diagnostics during and after epidemics, so that health workers are not scrambling to obtain tests when the next outbreak arrives. … We think that two actions are urgently needed to improve the availability of diagnostics — both in the current DRC Ebola outbreak and in future crises. Evaluate and prioritize specific diagnostics. … Incentivize developers. … Together, these steps will help to ensure that investments made during one outbreak are not wasted. Such efforts must be sustained so that they can help people to tackle the next crisis” (1/22).