SANDY, UT (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 04, 2016
Co-Diagnostics, Inc. announced today that the company has begun the preliminary test design process to develop a diagnostic for the mosquito-borne Zika virus and has prepared proposals to be submitted to the governments of affected Latin American countries.
Zika virus is rarely fatal, but it has been linked to birth defects, such as microcephaly, in babies born to infected mothers. In Brazil, considered to be the epicenter of Zika, reports of microcephaly have jumped from around 140 per year to nearly 4,000 in the last few months. Zika has also less often been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome leading to paralysis in adults.
The head of the World Health Organization has indicated that the virus “is now spreading explosively.” Already in 2016 Zika virus has become a nationally notifiable condition in the United States, and the WHO has declared it a global health emergency and called for a coordinated international response. Symptoms are similar to those of dengue, chikungunya and West Nile virus, which are also spread through mosquitoes. Zika infections can be differentiated from those diseases using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) diagnostic tests, especially during the first week after the onset of symptoms. According to the CDC there are no commercially available tests for Zika virus. At present CDC test results are only available 4 to 14 days following specimen receipt.
Co-Diagnostics CEO Dwight Egan commented, “Our diagnostic test for Zika virus, built with Co-Diagnostics’ patent-pending intellectual property and generated using the company’s proprietary test design software, is anticipated to be ready for internal verification within the next 2 weeks. We are confident that we will have the opportunity to make an impact on a threat that is already rapidly spreading throughout the Americas, and if left unchecked may lead to thousands of individual tragedies and an incalculable social impact.”