Zika Virus Introduction at the D2 Medical Centre and Pre-Pregnancy Screening:
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne single-stranded RNA member of the Flaviviridae that was first discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947. The D2 Medical provides screening for the virus if you are planning to get pregnant and you have been to a zika zone. The virus reservoir appears to be monkeys and outbreaks have been reported in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia. We have had a recent outbreak again across Africa and Latin America in 2019 onwards. The WHO advises that we are living today with Zika in these areas.
The main clinical symptoms are fever, conjunctivitis, transient arthritis/arthralgia, and a maculopapular rash. In general, the disease is mild and self-limiting.
The virus can be detected in the blood of infected patients by PCR early in the course of illness. From day 5 post-onset of fever, specific IgM antibodies are present. D2 Medical Test: Specimens from patients with the appropriate travel history and clinical presentation are screened in the NVRL at UCD a national centre of excellence. Serology (IgM and IgG in blood) is the diagnostic method of choice. Viral RNA is detectable in blood (by PCR) but only if performed early in the course of illness. Samples that yield a positive result on the screening assay are referred to the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory in the UK for supplementary/confirmatory testing.
Cost: 80 Euro Please note both partners need testing, if both have been to a Zika Zone before pregnancy.