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The FDA has approved the first commercial Zika virus test


Finally an easier way to detect Zika. (Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr)

By next week, the US' first commercial Zika test will be out. The test, developed by Quest Diagnostics, will be available to physicians in the US and Puerto Rico (which is the most affected part of the nation).

Before, people could only be tested at CDC approved laboratories. The process had to go through the health department so it was challenging to get tested. Now, it will be as easy as walking into a hospital.

The test looks for the presence of Zika virus in blood samples. The drawback: It can only detect the Zika if the virus is already in the bloodstream. You can still carry the virus without it coming up in the blood, so some people still have to go to the CDC. Quest Diagnostics is planning to eventually offer more cohesive tests that work around this issue.

The FDA approved the test on the day the country recorded its first Zika death in Puerto Rico.

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The FDA has approved the first commercial Zika virus test

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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