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Military patents new diagnostic kits for weaponized viruses

Source: YonhapNews

ebola-ipSEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) — The military has developed the technology to diagnose Brucellosis and the Ebola virus in the early stages of infection, a major step forward in boosting biodefense capabilities, the military said Monday.

A medical center under the Armed Forces Medical Command (AFMC) has secured the technology using real-time polymerase chain reaction to detect the two viruses which are high-risk pathogens that can be weaponized in biological warfare.

The medical command patented diagnostic kits created with the detection technology earlier in the year, according to AFMC.

These mobile kits will allow the military to conduct on-site tests on suspected patients and verify infection within 15 minutes,a AFMC said.

Infection cases will be later sent to a laboratory for a three-hour final verification process in a new diagnosis system set up by the medical command.

“The latest research outcome is expected to help find victims of biological weapons in the early stages and respond effectively so we can minimize human damage and the loss of combat forces,” Lt. Col. Kim Dong-hoon, the head of the medical center, said.

Last year, the medical center patented similar diagnostic kits for four other kinds of high-risk pathogens — anthrax, smallpox, Yersinia Pestis and tularemia.

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