CDC Updates Zika Guidelines To Include This Disgusting New Finding

Photographed by Tayler Smith.
Thinking about a mosquito-borne illness for months now is already testing our threshold for disgust — and worry. But today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for Zika testing based on a newly discovered fun finding: The virus lasts longer in your urine than your blood.

Recent research found that, in a test of 66 patients in Florida, a urine test correctly detected twice as many positive cases as the blood test. And the urine tests were able to pick up new cases later in the game. While the blood tests can only pick the virus up for about a week after symptoms first appear, the urine test can detect it up to two weeks after.

Now, the CDC recommends that doctors use a urine test in addition to the commonly used blood test. This is important because having another tool in our arsenal will hopefully make diagnosis seamless once Zika inevitably finds its way into North America.

For most people, Zika is a mild illness that only causes symptoms, like rashes and fever, in a fraction of the people infected. However, it can cause the birth defect microcephaly in babies born to women who catch the virus while pregnant. It has also been linked to Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare but potentially serious neurological problem that can cause paralysis. So far, there have been 472 confirmed cases of Zika among Americans, including 44 pregnant women, all of whom caught the virus while traveling, according to the latest count from the CDC. One of these people developed Guillain-Barré.

If you want to learn more about the virus and what you need to do about it, we've got you covered here. But, sorry conspiracy theorists, a giant multinational bioterrorism plot is not involved.

More from Body

Summer is over (for real). So it's time to face the facts: You're going to get a cold. Actually, you're probably going to get colds — plural. The average ...
The pelvic exam — complete with the stirrups and the speculum — isn't anyone's favorite thing about having a vagina. But it's really important because it's...
A few years ago, two Michigan urologists noticed a curious pattern among their patients: Upon returning from a Disney World vacation, patients would ...
Pregnant women get a lot of advice about motherhood, even when they don't ask for it. And in the first episode of Expecting, from Refinery29's comedy ...
It shouldn't be this complicated, all this body stuff: size discrimination, weight bias, the multi-factioned movement fighting to reverse it. At its core ...
On principle, I am skeptical of any internet health recommendation that has the word “challenge” tacked on to the end of it. These wellness fads come and...
Although he had been dead for decades, Jim Morrison said something a few years ago that shocked people. He wasn’t speaking from beyond the grave, but in ...
(Paid Content) Stress sweat is different from regular sweat in that it feeds off bacteria and causes odor. Then you start to think about it — producing ...
In April, I ran a story called “The Medium-Sized Woman Problem.” The “problem,” of course, was not the women themselves, but the way in which we frame ...
Jill Krause writes about all things mom, parenting, and relationships at her blog, Baby Rabies, and she has some words of advice for the non-pregnant ...
Let me introduce you all to the love of my life, Sienna Harper Gernon! I've never felt love like it! @justchrisgernon thank you so much, you have been...
Ragazzi mi state seguendo in tanti e vorrei ringraziarvi e scusarmi se non riesco a rispondere a tutti...vi proprio ho una foto che mi ricorda tutte ...
Update: Kopp's original Facebook post has been removed, and, as Shape reports, the chances of contracting an infection so severe that draining is ...
Breast-feeding has numerous benefits for both mother and baby, but it doesn't always come as naturally as we might assume. And, as one viral photo shows, ...