By Dr. Deanna Lites

GROSSE POINTE (WWJ) — Testing for the Zika virus currently involves mailing blood samples to a lab and waiting for weeks to get the results. But new research from a local hospital is speeding up the process.

Researchers from Beaumont Hospital say they have developed a urine test that can detect the Zika virus in under 30 minutes. Dr. Laura Lamb from the Beaumont Laboratory says the test is still in the research phase and not yet available in clinics.

“It’s very simple to read, it doesn’t require any special equipment,” Lamb said. “It basically is a color change from an orange color to an easy to see yellow color. In all of our laboratory samples we can detect [Zika] 100 percent of the time.”

The Zika virus is spread through infected mosquitoes. The virus can also be passed through sex with an infected person.

The Zika virus hit the United States last year in several southern states including Florida and Texas.

Right now there’s no vaccine to prevent Zika. Babies born with the virus often have severe birth defects.


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