The U.S. Drug and Food Administration has affirmed a new diagnostic test to help identify the Zika virus.

The test was affirmed half a month back. It’s intended to recognize antibodies delivered by the body’s immune system when it tests for the Zika virus infection in the blood.

As per the FDA, the diagnostic test is for utilize just in patients with clinical signs and Zika virus symptoms.

Symptoms can include muscle aches, fever, and joint pain.

Dr. Stephen Ramirez, with Stone Oak Family Practice, said the test will make a huge difference in the long run for patients.

“We finally have an FDA approved test for what we call the IGM Molecule or antibody for Zika. We are going to know a bit sooner and we can treat it a little bit sooner too. We didn’t have that before. When the second case (was) here in San Antonio a few years ago, I had to send my case to the CDC and it look me at least 2 months to find out if my patient had zika,” said Dr. Ramirez.

Up until this point, no Zika virus cases have been accounted for in Texas this mid year, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

Nonetheless, cases have been accounted for in Florida, California, and Utah.

Dr. Ramirez said it’s important to be cautious, especially pregnant women and anyone traveling to Central and South America where the virus is endemic.

“We have that mosquito endemic here in Texas so we have the possibility of getting Zika (in Texas.) The second reason (is) Texans go to places that are infected with Zika. The CDC has just recommended cautionary tales for people going to Haiti, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and Thailand,” added Ramirez.

It’s important to protect oneself during mosquito season. Here are a few tips:

Use an EPA approved mosquito repellent. R-apply it every 4 to 6 hours.

Wear long sleeves.

Remove any standing water around your house.

Avoid outdoor activities during peak mosquito hours (dawn and dusk.)

Tags #diagnostic test #FDA #U.S. Drug and Food Administration #Zika virus