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Brazil to detect Zika with new, quick test

Brazilian company Bahiafarma on Wednesday announced a new test that could detect the Zika virus in about 20 minutes.
Bahiafarma at a press conference in Salvador, capital city of the northeastern state of Bahia, said that the new test agent was the first of its kind to be produced and commercialised nationwide.
It said that the new test was the result of 10-month joint work with the South Korean technology company Genbody
It added that it could detect the Zika virus at any stage of infection by scanning the antibody expected to be developed in a virus carrier.
“Previous tests needed to be analysed in laboratories, which could take weeks.
“This test is quick, providing a result in about 20 minutes after separating antibodies from the human blood,’’ Bahia state Health Secretary Fabio Vilas Boas told newsmen.
In an initial phase, the Federal Ministry of Health was expected to order some 500,000 test agents.
It said that latest data from the ministry of health showed that over 120,000 suspicious Zika infections, or 58.8 per 10,000 people were recorded between Jan. 3 and April 23.
It said that the record was taken in 1,605 cities of the South American country with close to 40,000 cases diagnosed.
The state of Bahia is among the badly affected, where no fewer than 646 babies have been reported to suffer microcephaly.
Microcephaly is confirmed by the U. S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the birth defects caused by Zika infection during pregnancy.

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