The extremely dangerous and spreading virus, Zika, is starting to slowly increase as the summer season approaches. Most are now aware that Zika is a virus spread by mosquitoes. The long-term effects are unclear, but the main concern is with pregnant women and birth defects. This virus has people frantic about traveling anywhere close to an affected area and scientists are working hard to try to find a cure.
Recently, doctors have had to get blood samples and send them to state public health labs or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. This is a slow process and scientists have now come up with a more efficient method.
The new method, Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR), can detect genetic material from the Zika virus four to seven days after symptoms begin. The test must be done within this time span because the Zika virus only stays in a person’s blood for about a week. According to the FDA, the best time to perform the test is during the first week after the beginning of illness. The PCR Test will be given to doctors as soon as next week.
In about 80 percent of Zika occurrences, there have been no symptoms; though common symptoms are: itchy rash, fever, pink eye, and joint pain. If you find yourself having these symptoms and you have been to one of the countries known to have the virus, doctors are urging patients to get this test. It is important to catch it early, in the first two weeks, because the new test’s validity is proven early in the virus. After this time period, blood work is the only other option at this time. Doctors are warning to keep a lookout on your body and try to catch any suspicious symptoms early