Eligibility for free testing

Research associate Karen Lee of Agency for Science Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Experimental Therapeutics Centre prepares a reaction mix to be tested with the Zika virus diagnostic test kit at their laboratory in Singapore.
Research associate Karen Lee of Agency for Science Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Experimental Therapeutics Centre prepares a reaction mix to be tested with the Zika virus diagnostic test kit at their laboratory in Singapore. PHOTO: REUTERS

Q If I am pregnant, does that mean I am eligible for free Zika testing?

A No. You are eligible for free testing only if you have Zika symptoms or your male partner is Zika-positive. In addition, you must be assessed by a doctor to require the Zika test.

To qualify as having Zika symptoms, you need to have a fever and a rash, as well as one other symptom - such as joint or muscle pains, red eyes or a headache.

Q What if I'm pregnant but have no Zika symptoms? Can I still get tested for free?

A If your doctor thinks you need the test even though you have no symptoms, you can get tested, although you will have to pay.

It will cost $60 if you are a subsidised patient at a public healthcare institution, and $150 if you are a private patient.

Q What if I have Zika symptoms but I'm not pregnant?

A If you have the symptoms - a fever and a rash, as well as one other symptom - and your doctor thinks you need the test, you can also get tested.

However, it is not free. You will have to pay $60 if you are a subsidised patient, or $150 if you are a private patient.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2016, with the headline 'Eligibility for free testing'. Print Edition | Subscribe