Zika Virus Testing

What is Zika?

The Zika virus, first identified in Uganda in 1947, is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, the same type of mosquito that carries dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya virus. A mosquito bites an infected person and then passes those viruses to other people it bites. Outbreaks did not occur outside of Africa until 2007, when it spread to the South Pacific.
 
The CDC has confirmed Zika can spread through sex, usually after a person traveled to an area where Zika has broken out, got the virus, and gave the virus to a sex partner who did not travel. Infected women and men can both pass the virus to sex partners — even if they haven’t shown symptoms of infection, the CDC says. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass the virus on to their fetus.
 
Some studies have also shown the virus can be found in blood, semen, urine, and saliva of infected people, as well as in fluids in the eye.

What are the symptoms of Zika?

Infection with Zika virus is usually mild. In most cases, there are no symptoms. If someone is going to have symptoms, they usually start between 2-7 days after exposure.

  • The most common symptoms are:
  • Fever Pink or red rash with small bumps (maculopapular rash)
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (“pink eye,” inflammation or infection of the eye)

Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. Symptoms typically last several days to a week.

Who should get this test?

Testing should be performed when you have symptoms of Zika virus infection and because you live in or have traveled recently to a place where Zika virus infection is known to occur, and/or because you have another possible exposure to Zika virus (e.g., sexual transmission). You should discuss with your health care provider the benefits and risks of testing for Zika.

CDC and several state and local health departments are testing for Zika virus. Different diagnostic tests are available to help determine if a person is infected with Zika virus disease. Healthcare providers should contact their state or local health department to facilitate testing.

No FDA-cleared or approved tests exist that can tell whether you definitively have the Zika virus infection. The FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for several diagnostic tools for Zika virus, including the Trioplex Real-Time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) assay and the Zika MAC-ELISA, which are being distributed to qualified laboratories.

How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?

No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.

When will I receive my results?

Once completed, you will receive your results within 4-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.

 

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