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Fujifilm, French Institute To Develop Ebola Diagnostic System

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. say it has reached an agreement with French public research institute Bioaster to jointly develop a rapid diagnostic system for the Ebola virus.

The aim is to establish a diagnostic system capable of detecting Ebola infections in as short as about 15 minutes, Japan's Jiji Press news agency reported.

At present, only large research centres and hospitals are properly equipped to diagnose Ebola.

Fujifilm aims to develop the system by the end of the year.

The company is contributing technology it has traditionally used in photos' development process.

The same technology was used to develop an influenza diagnosis system that can detect the virus in three to 15 minutes. The system is now used at hospitals all over Japan.

The French institute will provide the Ebola antibodies.

If the new technology works, Ebola detection will be possible in about 15 to 30 minutes through a simple test on a portable device.

In order to contain the disease, it is important to identify infections in their early stages and break the chain of infection as well as develop vaccines and drugs.

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