Although many Zika test results can take days or weeks, a Central Florida lab is delivering need-to-know information faster.
Vista Clinical Diagnostics is Clermont said they can return results in the same day.
- Clermont-based lab says they can return Zika test results in 1 day
- Vista Clinical has conducted 130 Zika tests so far
- Company plans to train more techs on new Zika test
The lab, located on U.S. Highway 27, handles standard testing, such as biometrics and throat cultures.
Two weeks ago, they began offering a Zika test as well.
"Our turnaround time is a heck of a lot quicker than the state or any health department," said Robin Johnson, a molecular and serology supervisor at the lab. "I think a big part of it is peace of mind. People want to know right away, 'Do I have it or don't I?'"
Johnson is one of two techs trained to conduct the new test. In coming weeks, Vista said they plan to train more techs on the process.
"We are testing both serum and urine on every single patient," she said of the test, referencing guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Johnson mixes a reagent, or a substance for chemical analysis, with samples to determine results.
"If either one of those come up positive, serum or urine, you're positive. You have the virus," she said.
Vista said they've conducted 130 Zika tests with no positive hits so far.
Johnson said she understands the weighty responsibility of her job — and what getting results back quickly means to those concerned for their health.
“We don't see the patient, but every single one of those specimens that we get is from a patient. We try to remind each other, 'What if that was your mother? What if that was your son or your daughter?'" she said.
Zika testing at Vista's lab costs $99. It's a flat rate, because Vista doesn't accept insurance for Zika testing. In comparison, the uninsured patient prices for a similar test at Quest Diagnostics runs about $120 for PCR and $75 for antibody, with results taking three to five days.
Quest does provide both molecular and antibody Zika tests. Wendy Bost, the director of corporate communications with Quest Diagnostics, said the antibody Zika test can identify infection two to 12 weeks from time of suspected infection, which Bost said is longer than Vista's molecular/PCR Zika test (seven to 14 days from symptom onset).
The Florida Department of Health offers free Zika testing for pregnant women and those who meet CDC testing criteria.
"According to the CDC, any person who is experiencing one of the four key symptoms (red eyes, fever, joint pain and rash) and has a travel history to a Zika-affected area should be tested," the state said Friday.
Test results through the state take around two weeks, depending on priority.