South Florida company developing way to ID Zika

Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 06:47:11-05

One South Florida company is joining the fight against Zika.

Researchers at Boca Biolistics are helping create a fast and easy way to diagnose Zika.

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The Deerfield Beach-based company works with doctors treating Zika patients in Latin America and with scientists in the United States studying Zika.

The company says creating a test for labs and the field will help health advocates stay ahead of the spread of the virus.

"To detect the virus at an early stage and provide the clinicians and doctors with a diagnostic tool, they can treat the patients accordingly," explains VP of Corporate Development and Strategy Val Adia.

He says the company is working with a doctor in the Dominican Republic who is sharing blood samples of confirmed Zika patients to help find ways to better diagnose the virus.

The company is also studying how Zika is transmitted. Right now, researchers say it is passed to humans through mosquitos, but can be transmitted sexually from human to human.

Adia says researchers want to know if there are other ways to contract the virus.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus spreading in South and Latin America. It causes fever and joint pain, but has been linked to birth defects in Brazil.