- The World Health Organisation has approved a rapid test for Ebola, in a potential breakthrough for ending an epidemic that has killed almost 10,000 people in West Africa.
- Three women and a child have been taken to hospital after being hit by a car which mounted a footpath in at Belmore Sydney’s south west.
- An English advertising campaign designed to encourage girls and women to play sport has gone viral, attracting 16 million views on Facebook and YouTube.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd February 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The World Health Organisation has approved a rapid test for Ebola, in a potential breakthrough for ending an epidemic that has killed almost 10,000 people in West Africa.
The 15-minute test is a little less accurate than the so-called gold standard of lab assessment, but does not need electricity or highly trained personnel to use it, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.
“It’s a first rapid test. It’s definitely a breakthrough,” he said.
The standard laboratory test has a turnaround time of 12-24 hours. While the rapid test is not failsafe, it could quickly identify patients who need quarantine and make it much easier to verify rapidly any new outbreaks.
“Where possible, obviously results from this antigen rapid test should be confirmed by testing by blood sample using normal PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests,” Mr Jasarevic added, referring to a DNA analysis to detect the disease.
The so-called ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, manufactured by Corgenix, involves putting a drop of blood on a small paper strip and waiting 15 minutes for a reaction in a test tube.
It is able to correctly identify about 92 per cent of Ebola infected patients and 85 per cent of those not infected with the virus, the WHO said.
Mr Jasarevic gave no details as to where and when the test would be introduced, but did indicate it would likely be bought by a United Nations agency.
The health charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, which has been at the forefront of the fight against Ebola, had also expressed an interest, he said.
Health watchdogs are keen on a fast test because the current PCR test, which looks for telltale genetic signatures, can take up to 24 hours.
A simple but reliable test would help doctors in the field to quarantine people likely to have the virus and airports to test passengers before they get on a flight.
Three women and a child have been taken to hospital after being hit by a car which mounted a footpath in at Belmore Sydney’s south west.
An ambulance that was heading to the scene of the accident struck a brick wall, causing a crash that then involved three other cars at Condell Park.
The child, aged between two and three years old, suffered head injuries and is in a serious condition.
A pram the infant was sitting in was left mangled on the footpath.
Two women are in a serious but stable condition and one is still considered serious.
All four were taken to St George Hospital.
Police are questioning the 50-year-old driver of the car.
An English advertising campaign designed to encourage girls and women to play sport has gone viral, attracting 16 million views on Facebook and YouTube.
This Girl Can features a squadron of joyful, jumping and perspiring women, and aims to address the huge disparity between female and male participation in sport.
England ranks third in Europe in terms of male participation, and ranks 19th for female participation.
“So there is the most enormous gender gap, and if we could just crack that it would make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls,” Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said.
The advertising campaign also takes on the hefty issue of how women do not fear physical activity, but rather the judgment of others.
“And [the campaign] is edgy and it is disruptive but it’s basically celebrating all those women and girls who have decided, ‘Damn it. I don’t care what people think about me. I’m going to get out there and do it’,” Ms Price said.
She said she did not expect the extent to which the videos would go viral, saying the campaign seemed to have “really struck a chord with people”.
“I think the message we’re trying to get across here, which is that if you have this thought in your head when you think about sport and exercise, that ‘I’m not fit enough. I look dreadful in those clothes. I don’t really know the rules anymore’, that that is completely normal,” she said.
She said the Australian director of the television ad, Kim Gehrig, was “absolutely fundamental” to the creation of the campaign.
Ms Price is unapologetic about using the word “girl” for the campaign.
She said it was to target teenagers and to take the word as a youthful crown for older women.
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