Ohio lab starts doing initial Zika testing to speed results

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP): Ohio’s Department of Health says its laboratory has started doing initial testing in suspected cases of Zika virus to more quickly get initial results to the patients anxiously awaiting them.

The department said Wednesday the lab uses a test on blood samples collected within a week of when symptoms begin. The medical director, Dr. Mary DiOrio, says initial results could be provided to doctors and local health departments within 48 hours of the lab receiving a blood specimen.

The samples still will be forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing.

The virus is mainly spread through mosquito bites and causes mild or no symptoms in most people. Officials are investigating whether there’s a link between Zika infections in pregnant women and a rare birth defect.

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