Zika and Pregnancy

Zika Virus: Information for Providers

As of October 1, 2016, over 500 cases of Zika, including more than 50 among pregnant patients, have been confirmed in New York City (NYC). All were associated with travel.

Clinical Guidance

Testing for Zika

When to Test for Zika+

Common symptoms of Zika virus include red eyes, fever, joint pain or rash. If your adult patient is experiencing or has recently experienced these symptoms, OR if your patient is an asymptomatic pregnant women, ask the following questions:

  1. Does the patient live in, or has the patient recently traveled to an area with Zika?
    1. If Yes: Test for Zika
    2. If No: Has the patient had unprotected sex with a partner who has lived in or traveled to an area with Zika?
      1. If Yes: Test for Zika
      2. If No: Do Not Test for Zika

Testing of adults may also be recommended in other special cases, like if the patient has an unusual clinical presentation associated with Zika (e.g., Guillain-Barré Syndrome or other neurologic manifestation).

Testing is also recommended of all infants born to mothers with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection. For more information, see Update: Interim Guidance for the Evaluation and Management of Infants with Possible Congenital Zika Virus Infection—CDC *Updated 8/26/2016

Testing is not recommended for asymptomatic men, asymptomatic children or asymptomatic women who are not pregnant.

For general advice on whether to test your patient, see the CDC infographic When to Test for Zika Virus (PDF).


Which Tests to Order+


Where to Obtain Testing+

An increasing number of commercial clinical laboratories now offer comprehensive testing for Zika virus, including serology and nucleic acid amplification testing. Providers caring for NYC residents should now use commercial laboratories for routine Zika virus testing, including testing of pregnant women. See below for information on when testing at the DOHMH Public Health Laboratory might still be indicated. Also, the Health Department will continue to provide testing if the provider cannot use a commercial clinical laboratory or the patient is uninsured.


Commercial Laboratories+

Providers caring for NYC residents should now use commercial laboratories for routine Zika virus testing, including testing of pregnant women. However, specimens should be sent to the Health Department Public Health Laboratory in certain situations (see "NYC DOHMH Public Health Laboratory" below).

To report Zika-positive cases diagnosed by a commercial laboratory, call 866-692-3641 or log into Reporting Central via NYCMED.

Commercial Laboratories Approved by New York State Department of Health to Conduct Zika Virus Testing

Note: some laboratories may offer more tests; the tests listed below are the only tests approved by New York State.


Zika virus RNA testing(by PCR or other nucleic acid amplification testing)

  serum urine plasma serum
Quest Diagnostics  


If you are a vendor providing this service, please call (646) 941-0997 or email ppapadopoulos@health.nyc.gov to be listed on this website.


NYC DOHMH Public Health Laboratory+

Providers should send specimens to the NYC DOHMH Public Health Laboratory, and not to a commercial lab, in the following situations:

  • Infants with findings concerning for possible congenital Zika virus infections
  • Placental/fetal tissues collected at delivery or pregnancy termination (elective or spontaneous) for women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy
  • Possible Guillain-Barré syndrome or any unusual neurologic manifestation
  • Possible unusual modes of transmission (e.g., transfusion, organ transplantation)

The NYC Health Department will continue to provide testing for patients whose insurance does not cover the cost of testing at a commercial laboratory.

Instructions for testing through NYC DOHMH

Pre-approval is required for testing of Zika lab specimens through NYC DOHMH.

Call 866-692-3641, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request Zika testing for NYC residents and to arrange transport of specimens to the DOHMH Public Health Laboratory.

For urgent matters, such as abnormal fetus/infant of an exposed woman, or Guillain-Barré syndrome in an exposed person, call 866-692-3641 at any time.


How to Interpret Tests+

For assistance with interpreting test results, call 866-692-3641, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Educational Materials

For Clinical Providers

For the Public

For Patients

More Information

Blood Donation

New York State Health Department

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)