Zika Virus Test
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About Our Zika Virus Test
The Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, found primarily in tropical locations. This lab test is used to detect Zika virus RNA in the blood. The Zika virus has been reported in 48 countries or territories in the Americas and is expected to spread further, including the United States. As of October 2016, more than 3,900 cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these cases, 3,807 have been acquired from individuals traveling to affected areas, and 128 were locally acquired.
In addition to mosquito-to-human transmission, a pregnant woman can pass the Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika can cause microcephaly-- a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development-- and other birth defects.
Zika can also be spread sexually (and is now technically considered an STI), as it can survive in the semen of men and the genital tract of women. At this time, the length of time the Zika virus remains in semen or the genital tract and can still cause infections is unknown. It has been documented as having been transmitted via sexual activity from a male to a female, male to male, and female to male, as well as sharing sex toys.
Many cases of Zika do not display symptoms. Symptoms that are associated with the Zika virus include:
- Mild fever
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain or aches
- Conjunctivitis and/or red eyes
Symptoms generally resolve on their own within one week. The Zika virus RNA may be detected in a blood sample for approximately 4-7 days following the onset of symptoms.
At this time, Zika testing is not available to California or Nevada state residents.