BROOMFIELD, Colo. - A quick and easy test for the Ebola virus is under development at a Broomfield laboratory, prompted by concerns of a bioterrorism attack in the U.S.
The National Institutes of Health awarded Corgenix Medical Corporation $2.9 million this summer to create the test.
"One of the real needs, of course, is to be prepared," said Douglass Simpson, CEO of Corgenix. "We've never been attacked biologically in the United States, but it's definitely a concern."
While it takes meticulous work to combat infectious diseases, Simpson said intentionally spreading them is easier.
"A lot of reports say the next attack on the United States won't be a nuclear attack, won't be a plane going into a skyscraper," he said. "There's more of a chance it will be a biological agent. And you don’t have to have a sophisticated laboratory to develop these things. These agents, they're endemic. You can find them in Africa."
The Ebola test is based on one Corgenix has already developed for Lassa fever, a similar virus common in West Africa.
He said the Ebola test could be finished by 2016 at the earliest, perhaps in time for the next outbreak of the virus.
"(Ebola) will come back. Maybe one year, maybe three years, maybe 10 years," said Simpson. "We’ll have the product there, and we can test them, we can treat them, we can isolate them."