Urine trumps blood for Zika testing, CDC says

May 11, 2016

When it comes to Zika testing, urine is better than blood, according to new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recently updated its interim diagnostic testing guidance for the virus to recommend real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing for urine specimens obtained two weeks after the illness starts.

rRT-PCR testing is usually the preferred test for Zika. But the virus' RNA is almost undetectable in blood samples after the first week of illness, according to a report published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Report.

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