Brazil to detect Zika with new, quick test

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 1, 2016
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Brazilian company Bahiafarma on Tuesday announced a new test that can detect the Zika virus in about 20 minutes.

At a press conference in Salvador, capital city of the northeastern state of Bahia, Bahiafarma said that the new test agent is the first of its kind to be produced and commercialized nationwide with the authorization of Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency.

Bahiafarma said the new test is the result of 10-month joint work with the South Korean technology company Genbody and can detect the Zika virus at any stage of infection by scanning the antibody expected to be developed in a virus carrier.

"Previous tests needed to be analyzed in laboratories, which could take weeks. This test is quick, providing a result in about 20 minutes after separating antibodies from the human blood," Bahia state Health Secretary Fabio Vilas Boas told reporters.

In an initial phase, the Federal Ministry of Health is expected to order some 500,000 test agents.

Latest data from the ministry of health show that more than 120,000 suspicious Zika infections, or 58.8 per 10 thousand people, were recorded between Jan. 3 and April 23 in 1,605 cities of the South American country, with close to 40,000 cases diagnosed.

The state of Bahia is among the badly affected, where at least 646 babies have been reported to suffer microcephaly.

Microcephaly is confirmed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the birth defects caused by Zika infection during pregnancy. Endite

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