Zika test backlog leaves pregnant Florida women anxious for answers
PALM BEACH COUNTY (CBS12) —
Concern is growing in the medical community over the time its taking to get Zika test results in pregnant woman.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing for all pregnant women who live or travel frequently to areas where Zika transmission is likely.
But CBS12 has learned from speaking with several local doctors, that getting the results back from state labs for the recommended Zika diagnostic test, is taking several weeks, sometimes more than a month.
In response, Governor Rick Scott announced just this week that the CDC is providing Florida with seven personnel to assist with testing and lab functions to ensure pregnant women get results back faster. That’s important, since Zika has been linked to a birth defect.
The Florida Department of Health told CBS12 that it has contracted with a private lab, Lab Corp, to conduct Zika testing.
We’ve learned that the state is using three of its own labs in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami. Those labs are able to process about 1,000 tests per-week.
A spokesperson with the Florida Department of Health says a sample can take one to two weeks to turn around results, however, depending on the results, additional testing may require the CDC which can take several weeks.