Three Pregnant Women In Florida Test Positive For Zika Virus
Three pregnant women in Florida tested positive for the Zika virus after traveling abroad, according to a statement from Gov. Rick Scott.
A total of 32 cases of Zika have been confirmed so far in Florida, all of which were acquired outside of the United States.
After learning about the diagnoses of the pregnant women, the state requested 250 additional Zika antibody tests from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention. The antibody tests let doctors determine whether an individual, especially pregnant women and new mothers, ever had the virus, even if they are not currently sick.
"Following the news that three pregnant women tested positive for the Zika virus after traveling to Latin America, we have requested additional antibody tests to ensure we keep a good supply of resources to keep our families safe," Scott said in a statement.
"I appreciate that the CDC has previously supplied Florida with these antibody tests and I ask that the CDC take immediate action to fulfill this request so we can continue to stay ahead of the possible spread of the Zika virus in Florida."
Zika poses the biggest threat to pregnant women and their unborn babies, as health officials have linked it to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby is born with an abnormally small head. The condition can lead to mental retardation and other complications.
The virus has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological illness that can cause paralysis.
Zika is primarily spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes, though cases of sexual transmission have also been reported.
According to the CDC, symptoms of Zika, including fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, last between seven to ten days. Anyone who thinks they may be infected with Zika, especially pregnant women, should see a doctor immediately.