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TESTING FOR EBOLA. What everybody here needs to know


Ebola CANNOT be ruled out by any of the tests UNLESS the patient has been symptomatic for AT LEAST 3 DAYS BEFORE ANY SAMPLES HAVE BEEN TAKEN.

If any "suspected" case started feeling ill one day and went in for medical attention on that day...any proclamation made BEFORE 3 days that the patient tested negative is bullshit.

If any "suspected" case started feeling ill one day and went in for medical attention on the following day...any proclamation made BEFORE 2 days that the patient tested negative is bullshit.

"A number of tests can be used to diagnose Ebola within a few days of the onset of symptoms, which can detect the virus's genetic material or the presence of antibodies against the pathogen.

The most accurate of these is likely the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a technique that looks for genetic material from the virus and creates enough copies of it that it can be detected, Hirsch said. "PCR is a really definitive test," Hirsch said. It can pick up very small amounts of the virus.

However, this test can be negative during the first three days an infected person has symptoms, said Dr. Sandro Cinti, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Michigan Hospital System/Ann Arbor VA Health System.

"Somebody could be in the hospital for three to five days before a diagnosis [of Ebola] is confirmed," Cinti told Live Science. "The important thing is keeping the patient isolated until you can get to a diagnosis." Meanwhile, doctors will be running tests to rule out other diseases, such as malaria, which can be detected more quickly than Ebola, he said.

Another test for Ebola looks for antibodies produced by the body's immune system in response to the virus. Known as the antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), this test can take even longer than three days to give a positive result for an infected person, Cinti said.

Ebola virus is detected in blood only after onset of symptoms, most notably fever. It may take up to 3 days post-onset of symptoms for the virus to reach detectable levels. Virus is generally detectable by real-time RT-PCR from 3-10 days post-onset of symptoms.
Specimens ideally should be taken when a symptomatic patient reports to a healthcare facility and is suspected of having an EVD exposure; however, if the onset of symptoms is < 3 days, a subsequent specimen will be required to completely rule out EVD, if the first specimen tests negative.

Any time there is news that a person is being tested for ebola, the first question to ask is, "When did they start showing symptoms?   more at url

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