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Lake Worth woman infected with Zika no longer feeling symptoms, now feeling virus' financial effect

Posted at 7:25 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 23:44:42-04
A Lake Worth woman who says she is the second case of non-travel related Zika in Palm Beach County is talking to NewsChannel 5 again exclusively about the unforeseen financial effects the virus has left behind.
 
"Right now we're probably about $30,000 for my hospital stay, radiology, and for the two specialist who saw me in the hospital," said the woman who wants to remain anonymous.
 
Last month she was tested for  the virus after showing symptoms, but she had doubts because she had not traveled outside of the county and local active Zika transmission zones have only been identified in Miami-Dade County. 
 
"Especially with all the news that was out that it’s not in Palm Beach County, I mean really it was kind of a like a joke at one point, 'oh you might have Zika,"
 
Her symptoms got so severe she couldn't walk. She went to the emergency room even though she had just cut off her insurance in June. 
 
"I was at a point where I needed medical attention, I had no other option," she said.
 
Her Zika test came back positive days after her hospital release. By then, the bills started arriving. 
 
"Pretty much paying for the rest of my life," said the woman who is still expecting other bills in the mail. 
 
She knew only 1 in 5 people infected with Zika have symptoms, she never thought it would be her. 
 
"You could be that 1 in 5 just like I was and hopefully you have insurance," she said.
 
We are still waiting to get answers from the State Health Department and the Governor's Office about what financial aid if available if any to Zika patients struggling with healthcare bills. Both offices were closed due to Hurricane Hermine.
 
The CDC confirms it will run out of Zika funding by the end of the fiscal year which is at the end of this month if Congress does not allot additional dollars.
 
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