- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Testing for the Zika virus is now available at the North Dakota Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory.

Zika virus testing became available at the lab last month. The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1p0dfSB ) reported late last month that test results so far had been negative.

State epidemiologist Laura Cronquist says the testing is similar to what’s done for West Nile virus. She says testing is done only for patients who have traveled to areas affected by the Zika virus and experienced symptoms in the previous seven days.

Many people infected with the Zika virus don’t get sick, but for those who do, it’s usually a mild illness with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Health officials are investigating whether there is a link between Zika infections in pregnant women and a rare birth defect called microcephaly.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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