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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

One-Day Test for Zika Developed in Houston

HOUSTON (CN) - Two Houston research hospitals have developed a test that can diagnose Zika in a day, they announced Tuesday.

Scientists at Texas Children's and Houston Methodist hospitals say the test can detect the virus in blood, spinal fluid and urine and will on-site diagnosis without sending samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta.

The test could cut the Zika diagnosis time from one month to a day, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Dr. James Musser, chairman of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at Houston Methodist, said several other hospitals are working on their own Zika tests and are expected to roll them out soon.

"Texas has 13 cases of Zika virus disease," the Texas Department of State Health Services said. "Twelve are travelers who were infected abroad and diagnosed after they returned home. One case involves a Dallas County resident who had sexual contact with someone who acquired the Zika infection while traveling abroad."

The virus is spread by mosquitoes who pick it up by biting an infected human.

Though mosquito control officials say they have yet to detect the virus in mosquitoes in the United States, experts say it's expected to arrive this spring as the weather warms and

becomes more hospitable for the insects.

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