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    How to diagnose Zika virus in your practice

    Conjunctivitis is a common symptom of this rapidly traveling condition


    Diagnosis and treatment

    For healthcare practitioners, the differential diagnosis based on clinical symptoms is unreliable due to the clinical similarity of ZIKV and other infections such as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile, all carried by the same mosquito vector.6 At present time there is no commercially available diagnostic tests for ZIKV, and testing requires the CDC Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory. The diagnostic test may be performed during the first week after onset of symptoms by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on serum.6,19 But ZIKV can be misidentified as dengue as a result of antibody cross-reactivity if testing is delayed more than a week after initial exposure.

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    Currently there is no vaccination or cure against ZIKV, and palliative care of symptoms is recommended. Fluid replenishment and rest are the primary treatments for the systemic symptoms. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen and naproxen are not recommended in case of co-infection with dengue due to an increased risk of bleeding.7,14

    Next: The eyes are red, now what?

    Rachel Grant, OD, FAAO
    Dr. Rachel Grant received her Doctor of Optometry degree in 2012 from Southern California College of Optometry. She completed a ...


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    Optometry Times A/V