Testing for Zika Virus Will Soon Take Hours, Not Weeks in Dallas Co.

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Dallas-- When it comes to mosquito-borne diseases, you’ve got: Chikungunya, West Nile, and now the Zika virus. That’s enough to make you want to hide under your bed.

“Our country is held in a state of fear behind a global outbreak that clearly has to be eradicated where it`s starting from,” Zachary Thompson with Dallas Health And Human Services told NewsFix.

The frontline of defense is stopping the Zika virus before it get's imported by folks traveling from central and south America. In fact, dozens of companies are allowing their employees to opt out of traveling overseas. Meanwhile, doctors at Dallas Health and Human Services are trying to ease fears in DFW.

“We feel confident that we can respond, we have the medical community, we have what we need here to really deal with any situation that may happen,” Thompson said.

“We’ll load the samples, start the analyzer. It will begin to amplify the RNA of our Target virus,” Dallas Health and Human Services Micro biologist Daniel Serinaldi said.

Starting Monday, D.H.S will be able to test for Zika at this new state-of-the-art lab within 24 hours, compared to the three weeks it used to take.

“Having that fast turn around is critical for us to go out and do our public health follow up,” Thompson explained.

D.H.S can test up to 15-cases in a secure area and ironically we can thank the Ebola outbreak.

“We did the Ebola testing here so we have all the lab equipment, we have all the specifications to do the testing,” Thompson said.