Issue of the Day

Pregnant Women in Florida are being forced to wait for Zika testing


Zika mosquitos. (IAEA Imagebank / Flickr)

So, the Zika virus has landed in the United States, especially in Florida, which is causing concern for many of the people living there.

Zika itself is a fairly mild virus that is spread mostly through mosquitos, but also through sex and blood transfusions. The symptoms typically are fever, rash, headache, red eyes, and muscle or joint pain.

What has really been concerning people is the fact that Zika can be linked to birth defect like microcephaly.

Pregnant, and planning to be pregnant, women have been encouraged not to travel to areas that are currently infected and if they have, it's recommended to get testing. (BTW, here's a guide on what to do if you are a pregnant woman worried about Zika in the US.)

Florida is currently offering pregnant women free testing, but the state laboratories are unable to keep up with the demand and it has many pregnant women waiting anxiously for their results.

Hundreds of women are waiting for the results of their tests, which are taking weeks. That's especially concerning because Florida bans abortions after 24 weeks.

Part of the reason for the wait is because the women have to wait for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to analyze the results to approve the results of the virus -- and the CDC just announced earlier this month they have run out of money to combat Zika.

There are private tests, which are quicker, but more expensive. They typically range from $120 to $750 in price, so there are other options for pregnant women who are really concerned (and financially privileged).


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Pregnant Women in Florida are being forced to wait for Zika testing

Allison Hollender

Allison is originally from Fresno, California, but made her way to the beautiful Central Coast, where she is a student at UC Santa Cruz, earning a degree in both history and politics, working as a reporter for City on a Hill Press, and guzzling gallons of coffee. She is a lover of television and all things Amy Poehler. Follow her embarrassing attempts at jokes on Twitter @alleyrenee16.

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