Zika Virus Disease (or Zika) Information for Clinicians

As an arboviral infection, Zika is a reportable condition in Virginia. Questions about Zika virus testing through public health for a patient in your jurisdiction should be addressed to your local health department so they can approve testing and coordinate specimen submission and shipping with the state laboratory (Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services) and CDC.

Who Should be Tested Screening Pregnant Women When to Test Infants or Products of Conception for Zika Virus Which Tests to Order

For tissue testing, please see the When to Test Infants or Products of Conception for Zika Virus section above for tissue collection guidance.

Laboratory Testing for Zika

Testing for Zika virus through commercial laboratories is encouraged by the Virginia Department of Health, with the exception of tissue testing.

If public health testing is preferred, please see the VDH Public Health Testing Algorithm to determine if your patient meets public health testing criteria.

VDH Testing Approval Information

Public health testing for Zika virus requires pre-approval from your local health department before submitting specimens to the state public health laboratory (Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services - DCLS).

Clinician’s, or other healthcare providers, may request approval for public health testing for Zika virus via the Virginia Department of Health Zika Testing Approval webpage. The request will be submitted to your local health department, and they will contact you (at the contact information submitted in the request) to discuss your patient’s eligibility for public health testing. If your request for submission for Zika virus testing to the state public health laboratory (Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services - DCLS) is approved, a completed DCLS Clinical Microbiology/Virology Request Form must be included in the box with the specimen(s) that are being submitted to the laboratory.

Submitting to Virginia's Public Health Laboratory (Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services - DCLS)

Please note that current DCLS specimen testing instructions specify that specimens must be sent in a serum separator (tiger top) tube; specimens sent in red-top tubes will be rejected. Zika virus testing instructions will continue to be periodically updated by DCLS. Current instructions can be found on the DCLS website, under Updates and then under “Hot Topics & Updates”, or you may click on the link below.

Testing of all tissue specimens must have pre-approval from your local health department and CDC. You must contact your local health department to request tissue testing. The VDH Zika Testing Approval webpage is not set up for tissue specimen requests. The health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will determine if the request meets the tissue testing criteria. This process can take 1-2 days, thus it is recommended to collect and store the appropriate specimens if approval is not yet available. Please see the When to Test Infants or Products of Conception for Zika Virus section above for tissue collection guidance. All tissue specimens should be submitted through the state public health laboratory (DCLS), and a copy of the testing approval form must be included with the specimen(s).

Interpreting Results

To understand more about Zika virus infection, CDC established the US Zika Pregnancy Registry (USZPR). The data collected through this registry will be used to update recommendations for clinical care, to plan for services for pregnant women and families affected by Zika virus, and to improve prevention of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Healthcare providers can visit the VDH U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry website to download USZPR forms, and learn more about how to participate in the USZPR in Virginia.

Hospitals are required to report cases of birth defects in children under age two into the Virginia Congenital Anomalies Reporting and Education System (VaCARES). Birth defects potentially associated with congenital Zika virus infection include brain abnormalities, including microcephaly, eye defects, hearing loss, and limb defects. Surveillance of these birth defects can help improve understanding about health effects associated with exposure to Zika virus, and connect families to medical and social services.

For Healthcare Providers

General Information

Diagnostic Tests & Test Results

Pregnant Women

Infants & Children

Women of Reproductive-Age


Patient Counseling

Sexual Transmission

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Travel Guidance


Blood Supply

Education Resources

This situation continues to evolve and information is subject to change. For additional information and recent updates, see CDC’s Zika webpage for health care providers

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