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June 10, 2016: Infectious Disease Quick Test Manufacturer OraSure Technologies Steps It Up for Zika

Kurt Bresswein reports “With summer-like warmth and mosquito season well underway in the Lehigh Valley, U.S. Senator Bob Casey visited Bethlehem on Tuesday to hear about efforts to better diagnose Zika infections.

“OraSure Technologies, which has its headquarters at 220 E. First St. on the city’s South Side, is working to develop a rapid-diagnostic test based on its OraQuick platform. The company offers OraQuick testing for HIV, which causes AIDS; hepatitis C; and Ebola. Its products also include tests for influenza A and B.

“The CDC reports 591 cases of Zika in the United States and 939 in U.S. territories, as of May 25, 2016. The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 19 cases confirmed by the CDC as of Tuesday afternoon, with 178 blood tests pending. New Jersey reports 16 cases, all travel-related.

“’A rapid diagnostic would allow doctors to quickly determine if a patient has been exposed to infection with the Zika virus, enabling appropriate follow-up care for the patient and minimizing the burden on public health laboratories,’ according to a news release from the office. ‘Accurate diagnostic tools are also necessary for vaccine and drug development.’”


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