VIENNA, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will help Sierra Leone, and later Liberia and Guinea to fight the spread of the Ebola virus by providing the countries with specialized diagnostic technology, according to a statement published on the official IAEA website on Tuesday.
“The support is in line with a UN Security Council appeal and responds to a request from Sierra Leone. The IAEA assistance will supplement the country's ability to diagnose EVD [Ebola Virus Disease] quickly using a diagnostic technology known as Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR),” the statement reads.
This nuclear-derived technology can detect the dangerous virus within a few hours, while other methods take few days.
Early Ebola diagnosis, if combined with appropriate medical care, increases survival rates.
"With this additional support, the Agency makes a small but effective contribution to global efforts to fight the ongoing Ebola outbreak," IAEA’s Director General Yukia Amano said as quoted by agency’s website.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa broke out in southern Guinea in February, and later spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. According to the WHO, a total of 8,914 cases of the Ebola virus disease had been reported as of October 8 with the disease killing an estimated 4,447 people so far. Two people have been infected with the virus in the United States, and one person caught the disease in Spain, while several others came to the US and the EU having already contracted the virus in the Ebola-hit West African countries.
There is currently no officially approved medication for the disease, but several countries are now working on developing a drug to halt the virus spreading further.
On Monday, the Russian Health Minister confirmed that Russia is now ready to test its Ebola vaccine on primates and may soon start clinical trials.