New Rapid Test for the Zika Virus
Scientists have hit a milestone in the fight against the spread of the Zika virus. Doctors at the Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital have developed a new rapid test for the Zika virus.
Up until now testing for the Zika virus has been a cumbersome project. Samples have to be sent to sophisticated labs that are only available in a handful of states. This new rapid test can be used on blood, amniotic fluid, urine and spinal fluid, and it provides results within mere hours rather than days. This new test detects genetic material from the Zika virus, and can distinguish between the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue or West Nile virus. This is extremely important, as the viruses are very similar and many of the countries infected have mosquitos that carry a number of mosquito-borne illnesses.
According to the CDC, at least 82 Americans who have traveled to areas where the virus is active have been infected, and it is likely that hundreds more will be infected, especially because of the Olympic games being held in Brazil this summer.
Do you think this new rapid test is a milestone in the Zika virus outbreak? Do you think it could aid in the prevention of people catching the Zika virus?