The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 17 authorized a Zika virus diagnostic tool for emergency use.
The tool — Trioplex Real-time RT-PCR Assay — enables providers to determine with one test, rather than three, whether a patient is infected with chikungunya, dengue, or Zika.
The Emergency Use Authorization came in response to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) request. CDC says the test will speed up the process of detecting acute Zika virus infections.
The tool will be distributed over the next two weeks only to qualified laboratories in the Laboratory Response Network. No U.S. hospitals or other primary care facilities will receive the test.
Meanwhile, Modern Healthcare is hosting a one-hour, no-cost webinar March 29 on what providers should know about the Zika virus. Presenters include
- Michael Bell, deputy director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases;
- John Braden, medical director of emergency preparedness for Baptist Health South Florida; and
- Col. Michael Rajnik, U.S. Air Force, associate professor of pediatrics at Uniformed Services University.
For more information on Zika, America’s Essential Hospitals has established a resource page dedicated to this emerging public health threat. Essential hospitals provide a significant volume of public health and emergency preparedness services and stand ready to support the nation’s response to Zika virus. Visit this page regularly for new and updated information.