When a disease outbreak occurs, the first stage of the response is detection. In both the Zika and COVID-19 outbreaks, WHO identified effective diagnostics as vital tools in disease management in order to accurately identify the viruses, monitor and control their spread.
For diseases caused by infection by viruses such as Zika and SARS-CoV-2, diagnostics are particularly important to rule out other infections that present with similar symptoms and evaluate the severity of the patient’s condition. As with many viral infections, a wide spectrum of symptoms can occur, for example milder cases of COVID-19 include a cough, fever and, in some cases, a runny nose and headache – all of which are similar to that of the common cold and seasonal flu. Zika virus symptoms are also similar to closely related diseases such as Dengue, Yellow Fever, West Nile, and Japanese and Tick-borne Encephalitis.
Avacta Group Plc (LON:AVCT) offers reagents and therapeutics based on Affimer technology for diagnostic and research applications in the United Kingdom. The company’s custom Affimer products are also used in drugs and biomarkers discovery in biotech research and development.