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Zika Test Commercially Available

(Photo by Tracy Greer - KJZZ)
Zika awareness poster created by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Testing for Zika virus is now available at most commercial labs, meaning you can go to your doctor and ask for the test.

Before the test became available at places like Labcorp and Sonora Quest, Dr. Cara Christ with the Arizona Department of Health said only the CDC and state health labs could test for Zika virus. That’s not to say the test is new.

"It’s a current existing technology, so they didn’t develop new laboratory equipment or laboratory testing," Christ said.

Still, that doesn’t mean the test will be cheap either.

"It’s going to depend on whether that patient has insurance, whether they have a co-pay, or whether they’re paying out of pocket, whether the insurance deems it’s an appropriate lab test to perform based on the medical history," Christ said.

Christ said if a provider suspects Zika, they’ll likely call public health. If the person meets certain risk factors, then the test could be free.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.