NBT Potential for Ebola Screening Breath Test
ANCON Medical Seeking Funding for Advanced Screening Device to Aid Detection and Treatment Against Looming Health Crisis.
Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern region Ministry of Health reported on Monday of a repeat outbreak of the Ebola virus, sickening 150 people and causing the deaths of at least 69 people in the region.
After weeks of control efforts having made impact, doctor’s have expressed concern the outbreak could now worsen due to attacks in the region, movement of people and distrust in the community. “We are now extremely concerned that several factors may be coming together over the next weeks to months to create the potential perfect storm,” said Dr Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response.
Despite movement restrictions due to political clashes between tribal leaders, teams of healthcare personnel are continuing to conduct fieldwork, including providing vaccinations, according to WHO. But “80% of people that are at risk of Ebola, at direct and immediate risk, were unable to be followed up yesterday in Beni,” Salama said Tuesday.
With medical and security professionals in the U.S. and across the world searching for a quick, portable and effective way to screen for the Ebola virus, ANCON Medical is seeking funding for emerging technology that could screen for Ebola and a host of diseases within minutes, simply by testing an individual’s breath.
With appropriate future funding, the company can further develop ANCON’s Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) device, a revolutionary technology that provides one of the most sensitive and non-invasive methods for screening for diseases. Funding will also be used to find the Ebola VOC biomarker, the molecular signature that will alert NBT to the presence of the virus.
“With viruses like Ebola, not only could NBT technology be the difference between life and death, it could make a crucial difference in preventing and controlling an outbreak,” said Wesley Baker, ANCON Medical CEO. “Panic won’t protect vulnerable populations from this terrible virus, but technology like NBT can.”
With sufficient funding, ANCON Medical can complete miniaturization of the technology, allowing it to be used in a variety of settings, such as health clinics in underdeveloped nations, border crossings, airports and other settings where early screenings can provide indications that an individual is infected. Plus, NBT can be programmed to detect a wide variety of diseases and viruses, including cancer and tuberculosis.
Congo is concurrently experiencing a long-term humanitarian crisis that includes intermittent armed conflict, according to WHO. As a result, other health epidemics, including cholera, measles and polio, as well as human trafficking, are flourishing there.
Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with either bodily fluids or objects contaminated by someone ill with the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some cases, the virus is spread from contact with someone who has died from the disease. The virus enters the body through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth.
On average, Ebola kills about half of those infected, but case fatality rates in individual outbreaks have varied from 25% to 90%. Ebola, which causes fever, severe headache and in some cases haemorrhaging, most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates, such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees. This is a second, separate outbreak that has occurred in Congo so far this year, according to the WHO. A previous outbreak, which began in May and ended in July, affected a western region of the country where 54 cases of Ebola virus were recorded, including 33 deaths.
Since August 8, the Ministry has been inoculating people at high risk of an Ebola infection: primary and secondary contacts of those with confirmed Ebola infections. More than 11,700 people have now been vaccinated, according to Salama, who described this as “the largest scale we have ever seen of the use of Ebola vaccine in the midst of a response.”
“Beyond the medical response, the only way to end the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic remains the mobilization and commitment of the community alongside the health authorities,” Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Health, said in a statement.
For more information on ANCON Medical’s NBT, visit http://anconmedical.com/disease-screening/ebola/.
Further information: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/25/health/ebola-update-africa-intl/index.html