Zika Virus: Information for Providers

For the latest guidance surrounding Zika, including on prevention and on caring for pregnant women and infants, review the CDC’s Zika Virus information for Health Care Providers. Routine Zika virus testing is not currently recommended for most people with the exception of symptomatic pregnant women who had recent travel, or had sex with someone who lives in or recently traveled, to areas with active dengue transmission and a risk of Zika.

Testing for Zika

Zika virus testing is available at commercial laboratories. Positive specimens are forwarded to New York State Wadsworth Center for confirmation. For questions about testing or to report Zika-positive cases that have been diagnosed by a commercial laboratory, call 866-692-3641 or report it online.

How to Interpret Tests

Zika IgM antibodies may persist for over a year after infection, similar to other flavivirus infections. Serologic cross reactivity with dengue virus can also produce a positive Zika IgM result. Determining the timing of infection relative to pregnancy may be complicated for women with prior or ongoing exposure. Providers should acknowledge and convey to patients the limitations of Zika serology for clinical decision-making.

A positive Zika IgM antibody test result for a pregnant person could mean:

  • Zika virus infection during current pregnancy, indicating the pregnancy is likely at risk from Zika.
  • Zika virus infection before current pregnancy, indicating the pregnancy is not likely at risk from Zika.
  • False positive result, indicating the pregnancy is not likely at risk.

Guidance for Interpretation of Discordant IgM Results Between PHL and Commercial Laboratories (PDF)

Educational Materials for Patients

Additional Resources

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