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Infectious Disease Diagnostics

Testing For The Zika Virus

7 months, 3 weeks ago

1411  0
Posted on Feb 02, 2018, 11 a.m.

The Zika virus does not have a vaccine or medication and until recently no quick reliable testing for it. Unfortunately babies born with the Zika virus often have devastating lifelong birth defects as well as other severe brain defects. Traditional testing for the Zika virus involves medical staff drawing blood samples and sending the samples off to a lab, all of which is a process that could take up to a realistic four weeks.

The Zika virus does not have a vaccine or medication and until recently no quick reliable testing for it. Unfortunately babies born with the Zika virus often have devastating lifelong birth defects as well as other severe brain defects. Traditional testing for the Zika virus involves medical staff drawing blood samples and sending the samples off to a lab, all of which is a process that could take up to a realistic four weeks.

 

The majority of adults with the Zika virus experience no symptoms at all or mild flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, rash, red eyes, and joint and muscle pains with symptoms lasting from a few days to a week, which means that couples trying to conceive may not even know if they are even infected and at risk, according to Ph.D Laura Lamb.

 

Lamb and her colleagues at Beaumont Hospital have developed a simple quick test for the Zika virus, which is a urine test, results are ready within 30 minutes.

 

Currently Lamb and her colleagues are working to see if the same concept could possibly be applied to testing for other infectious diseases such as West Nile, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya via this rapid and accurate method.The detection of viruses earlier provides the opportunity to provide treatment faster and adds to the potential to save lives.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the past 2 years 5274 reported cases of the Zika virus have occured in the United States. The virus can be acquired by the bite of an infected mosquito, unprotected sex, blood transfusion, and from mother to fetus.

 

The urine test is still in the research phase, requiring additional resources and funding before it can allow people across the globe to benefit from it. 

 

Sources include:

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

https://www.beaumont.org/

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/overview.html

 

 

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