News of Texas' first Zika related death, put the virus back into the forefront, and on the watch list for health officials state and nationwide.
“This was a child who was born to a mother who was in a Zika affected area in Latin America and traveled to Harris County in her second trimester,” said Dr. Umar Shah, director of Harris County Public Health.
As the virus spreads in the U.S., demand for testing continues to increase. Austin based biomedical company Luminex is joining the fight. “We're really excited because we are able to use our powerful instrumentation and chemistry to bring an assay to the marketplace,” said Ronald Dunn, VP global regulatory and clinical affairs at Luminex.
Assay is a fancy word for lab test or analysis. There are several Zika tests out there, but this one is different.
“Our assay is able to detect six genetic variations of the Zika virus,” said Dunn.
Other tests may only be able to identify about one or two. This test also can detect that material in plasma, serum and urine. Because this test tests for six variations of Zika, it is more likely to catch the virus even after it decides to mutate. Clinical labs across the country are already taking a grab at the technology from this capital city company.
“Being able to provide our customers and physicians within their healthcare networks,tools to be able to diagnose patients who are infected is very important,” said Dunn.
The FDA may allow Luminex to sell the test to other countries. The company said they're happy they could play a role in trying to stop Zika from becoming an epidemic