New Zika test available…

 

The Zika virus has been in the news a lot.  Most of you know by now, all about it.  I don’t like to get to serious, but I think its important to stay informed. I wanted to know more about it, so over the weekend I did a little research and wanted to share what I found:

  • Why pregnant mamas or trying to conceive couples should be aware:
    • The CDC and other agencies have been investigating the link between the Zika virus and birth defects.
  • The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes that are more aggressive during the day, but also bite at night.
  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people.
  • A mother can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy. (more research is being done on this)
  • Zika can be sexually transmitted by a man to his partner because the virus is in semen longer than blood.
  • Common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
  • 29 countries/territories in the Americas, 4 countries in Oceania/Pacific Islands and 1 country in Africa have reported active Zika virus transmission.  (A full list can be found on the CDC website HERE)
  • No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states, but there have been travel-associated cases.

Right now, in order to confirm a Zika diagnosis your hospital has to send samples to your local health department AND the CDC (very time consuming).  The test THEN has to distinguish Zika from other viruses like West Nile (also time consuming).

I’ve blogged about how amazing my doctors and nurses were at The Houston Methodist during my labor.  Houston has one of the best (if not THE best) medical centers in the country.  Well, they’ve been hard at work.  It was announced last week that experts at the Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital developed a test for Zika that can identify the virus within hours.   The CDC is working hard so that other states in the US can have the same benefits from this new test.

At the moment, the test is only available at the Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital.

A lab in Texas is also working with the Brazilian government to find a vaccine for the virus.  The National Institutes of Health has said that a vaccine could be available as early as 2017.  (please, no vaccination debates here)

If you have traveled or plan to travel to any of the counties listed on the CDC site and are pregnant or trying to conceive, please talk with your doctor.

For more information on the Zika virus, visit HERE.

Xs- BW

*this is not a sponsored post | negative comments will not be tolerated, so please don’t*

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