Skip to main content

News

Oceanit Technology Protects Health Care Workers From Ebola

Posted January 13, 2015 in Life Science, Patrick K. Sullivan

Photo Credit: Frederick A. Murphy, via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the Ebola virus – public domain.

Oceanit recently developed an innovative new process for rapid confirmation of the presence of Ebola in order to provide greater protection to health care workers, and serve as an important new tool in the effort to contain and combat future outbreaks. The new process conceived by Oceanit scientists will deliver rapid indication of Ebola contaminated fluids, saving precious time and saving lives by enabling health care workers to protect personal and public safety with immediate actions that limit viral spread.

Containing the virus spread and treating the infected requires specially trained health care providers to work in close proximity to Ebola patients, exposing caregivers to significant risk of contracting the disease themselves. So far, 666 health care workers have been infected, 366 (55%) have died. The severity of the current epidemic and the valiant efforts to contain it led Time Magazine to name “The Ebola Fighters” 2014’s Person of the Year. In the past 12 months, more than 19,497 people have been infected, and over 7,588 have died.

Public safety is dependent upon preventing the dispersion of contaminated fluids into the environment, but current methods for identifying Ebola are expensive and require hours if not weeks to obtain results from the lab. Oceanit founder and chairman Dr. Patrick K. Sullivan explained, “The current Ebola outbreak has been recognized as a public health emergency of international concern. Oceanit has developed a very promising approach to the problem that is inexpensive and highly scalable. The greater value of this innovation is that it could also serve as a frontline platform to help control the spread of other global contagions, including Dengue fever and Norovirus.” 

For 2015, Oceanit has planned a series of experiments to demonstrate the prototype and then prepare for testing with live virus samples at suitable containment facilities.