Last July, Florida made national news for a sobering piece of news about the Zika virus.
A report by Florida officials noted that four local cases of Zika infections had been detected. Mosquitoes infected these people. This was a major story because it marked the first confirmed cases of mosquito-borne Zika transmissions in the continental United States.
And that, as they say, was “news.”
As a result, transmission of the Zika virus remains a serious health concern, and not just in South Florida.
The good news is that Personalabs has a blood test to diagnose a Zika virus infection. Anyone concerned about a possible transmission is strongly encouraged to take the test.
The Zika virus is an infectious disease mainly spread through the bite of mosquitoes. It can result in symptoms that include:
• Skin rashes
• Muscle and joint pain
• Red eyes.
Most of all, the biggest concern has been infection during pregnancy, which in some cases has led to brain malformations in babies as well as brain abnormalities.
A Zika infection in adults, in some instances, has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is a rare condition that causes your immune system to attack your nerves, leading to muscle weakness and even paralysis.
Because the Zika virus can stay in a person’s bloodstream for about a week after they’re infected, health officials fear a mosquito could bite someone, pick up the virus, then spread it by biting another person.
In the first Florida case, three men and one woman tested positive for Zika in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Once this occurred, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about the potential for Zika virus transmissions to extend beyond Miami-Dade County.
The CDC also noted their ongoing concern that Zika infections could go undetected because people sometimes experience mild symptoms — or none at all.
Therefore, only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus show symptoms of illness.
In response, the CDC worked in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health to issue guidance measures. They intend to prevent Zika transmission among residents and visitors living in or traveling to the South Florida region.
Despite that, fears about the risk of Zika have been so strong that last year it prompted many U.S. athletes to decide they wouldn’t be participating in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, following reports of a rising number of Zika cases in Brazil.
Almost all Latin American and Caribbean countries have experienced Zika cases.
In addition,the United States tests blood donations for Zika virus.
Consequently, Personalabs is fully aware of the concerns many people have in Florida and across the nation about Zika. We have a test used to diagnose a Zika infection.
Zika viral RNA is generally detectable in blood during the acute phase of the infection. This is recommended for people who:
• Are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, rash, joint pain and pinkeye;
• Had sexual contact with someone who recently traveled from an area where Zika is present;
• Recently traveled to countries and territories with active Zika Virus transmissions;
• Women who are pregnant.
You’re not required to take any special preparations prior to the blood test. The test takes 2-10 business days for the test results to come back, depending on the testing location and lab test provider.
Finally, this test has been authorized only for the detection of RNA from Zika virus and not for any other viruses or pathogens.
Contact Personalabs for a list of the countries and territories known to have active Zika virus transmissions.
Laboratories are required to report all positive results to public health authorities.
State government and public health authorities are taking the Zika virus very seriously — for a reason.
Because you can help the fight against the spread of this virus. If people get tested, this fight can be won– and treated.
Anyone concerned about a possible Zika infection can find out their status through the Personalabs blood test.