The Zika disease has put in danger the health state of so many Americans. The major problem is that proving that infections are caused by this particular virus is very difficult. The majority of individuals affected by the dangerous virus don’t present any symptoms, or they tend to associate them with the mild flu. What is more, people who get infected with this virus are hard to get diagnosed because the illness is barely detectable.
The Food and Drug Administration has not yet developed a commercial test bound to detect the Zika virus. In the meantime, this agency allowed medical officials to apply the urgent use permission for ten tests. Now the medical staff is working against the clock, shipping the tests to the labs as quick as possible in order for them to be processed.
Another disadvantage is accuracy. Nobody can guarantee the reliability of these medical tests. A test which was bound to search for antibodies to the disease and was acquired by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been infested by a false-positive. The test frequently reveals the contagion by the Zika virus when the germ is closely associated with microorganisms that are part of the same family.
Scientists are trying to standardize the process, but resources and time are not on their side. A Tulane University virologist and professor of microbiology and immunology, Robert Garry has been struggling for months to produce a test that searches for a response from the immune system and not for the virus itself. Garry is trying to bring a test on the market that could be useful for everybody and could process the information in 20 minutes, without needing to be sent to a lab.
This process developed by Garry and his team will evolve a search for antibodies that are prone to stay longer in the body. Even if the Zika virus doesn’t remain in the body for long, it can still provoke serious damage. According to scientists, the antibodies appear in the blood after four or five days from the appearance of the disease and can last up to 12 weeks or longer. The antibodies used by Garry are called immunoglobulin M (IgM) and are known to remain longer in the body after the injection.
Would you try Garry’s antibodies test if needed or would you wait for scientists to develop other ways of killing the Zika disease?
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