HealthDay News — A fast-acting Ebola test has been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to an agency news release.

The LightMix Ebola Zaire rRT-PCR Test was issued authorization for use on patients with signs and symptoms of Ebola Zaire virus infection in conjunction with epidemiological risk factors, such as traveling from West Africa. The test offers results in about three hours, compared with many tests on the market that can take a day to produce results.

The test is still not approved for general use, noted the FDA. Hopes for the test include its use in the field to identify patients infected with Ebola in West Africa. The test, however, may not have a significant impact on Ebola diagnoses, at least initially. Many patients in West Africa live far from labs equipped with the expensive testing techniques required to interpret the results.