Rapid test found for killer disease

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The Independent Online
Scientists at the University of Wales in Cardiff have developed a new, rapid test for the diagnosis of killer meningitis. At present, patients suspected of having the disease have to undergo painful lumbar puncture tests. Results can take 24 hours, or more.

The new method, which allows a result within 30 minutes, uses blood and urine samples and can distinguish between B and C strains of the meningococcal infection. This is important because a vaccine is available against the C strain, which can be deployed once it is identified in an area. Trials have started at five hospitals in England and Wales and one in Dublin. Annabel Ferriman