Asiri introduces ‘Zika’ tests in Sri Lanka

Friday, 4 March 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

With the outbreak of the Zika Virus making headlines in most parts of the world, Asiri Laboratory services announces the availability of the Zika Virus test at the Asiri Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine (ACGRM) for the first time in Sri Lanka.

Having being the reputed market leader for accuracy and reliability in laboratory services in the country, the lab is now equipped to perform a real time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) for the Zika virus and will be available at an affordable fee, given its uncommonness and severity. The Zika Virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected ’Aedes’ species mosquito which is the same mosquito that carries yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.

Commenting on the introduction of the Zika test, Medical Geneticist and Head of the Asiri Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine Professor Vajira H.W. Dissanayake said, “There is no reason for alarm as the public should just continue to take commonsense steps to avoid mosquito bites.” 

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there isn’t a vaccine to prevent Zika but its effects are usually mild and last up to a week. Symptoms typically begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and include fever, rash, joint pain, and the red eyes of conjunctivitis. The symptoms of the condition can have overlaps with Dengue and Chikungunya viral infections.

The virus could cause microcephaly if a mother is infected during pregnancy; hence Obstetricians and Gynaecologists should be extra vigilant and cautious whilst treating expecting mothers. The healthcare provider also advices travellers to be on the lookout for symptoms of similar nature as specific areas affected by the virus are often difficult to determine and will likely change over time.

With over three decades of quality patient care, Asiri Laboratories have produced consistent, accurate and timely results which always make them the first preference among Sri Lankans. Having conducted the highest number of tests in the country, they are also the first to introduce a wide spectrum of allergy tests, cardiac makers, new generation of tumour makers and genetic tests into the country.

The Asiri Laboratory is also one of the first large medical laboratories in the country to be certified and accredited according to the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in quality management, environmental quality and laboratory quality. They are members of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI), and are registered for SAM (System for Award Management- USA).