DOH logoHONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division will now be able to test for the Ebola virus in Hawaii rather than relying on blood samples from suspected Ebola patients sent out of state, according to a statement from the agency.

Up until now, two blood samples were drawn from the suspected patient, with one sent to the Centers for Disease Control and the other to a lab in Los Angeles. Turnaround on the results was about 24 hours, officials said in an earlier news conference.

However, with Hawaii’s own lab, results could be delivered quicker.

State Laboratories Director Dr. Christian Whelen said Hawaii’s laboratory staff have been fully trained on how to safely work with high risk specimens, including those that may contain Ebola or biological terrorism agents.

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