Where to get tested if showing symptoms for Zika; Health Dept. says see your doctor first

Posted at 11:37 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 04:15:47-04

One month before her due date, Vaenussa Mulero is finally out picking up baby essentials. Fears about Zika have kept her indoors for the last eight months.

MAP: Tracking Zika cases in Florida | Special Section: Zika in Florida

"Once I found out I was pregnant and it started coming out, I just did not go out much, it's now that I'm coming out more because I have to do the shopping," said Mulero.

Right at the beginning of her pregnancy, Zika's first travel related cases started popping up in South Florida. Now non-travel related cases are being reported in Miami.

"I seen what it could do. My doctor showed me different things, how it could affect the baby," added Mulero.

Birth defects and abnormalities caused by the Zika virus are the main reason why Governor Rick Scott is opening the doors of health departments across the state to pregnant women.

Testing will now be available for anyone who is pregnant.

Men and non-pregnant women will have to see their doctor to get tested. 

Not all doctors have testing kits.

They may have to refer you to a Quest Diagnostics center, a hospital, or the health department.

Couples try testing to get pregnant should talk with their doctor and be assessed.

"Zika stays in the body for anywhere between six weeks to several years. Women who are exposed to the Zika virus are asked to remain abstinent or to avoid sexual contact for 6 weeks in order to prevent potential complications with pregnancy, however the exact full amount of time isn't completely understood or known," said Dr. Brandt Delhamer, Wellington Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Delhamer adds that is it not known for sure if the virus, like others, can become dormant and reactivate in the future. It also has been linked to Guillain Barre, a neurological syndrome that can last a lifetime.