RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- The commonwealth of Virginia will now be able to timely detect any potential Zika virus outbreaks.
Virginia's Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services announced Monday that it is now able to test blood samples for the Zika virus after being appropriately designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine tells local media that previously, all suspected blood samples were sent to the CDC for testing, resulting in a massive backlog of samples from across the country. It took two to three weeks to receive results.
Now, Levine says it could only take days to determine if a Virginia resident has the virus.
Zika is a virus spread through mosquitoes and sexual activity and causes a mild illness. According to the CDC, if a pregnant woman is infected it can cause birth defects.