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15 pregnant women who delivered babies at Jackson Memorial Hospital have been diagnosed with Zika (Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)

'Zika is real'

Florida state health officials confirm Zika diagnoses in 84 pregnant women

By WITW Staff on September 9, 2016

Eighty-four pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in Florida, according to a report issued by state health officials on Thursday. Doctors speaking at the “Zeroing in on Zika: From the Front Lines” forum said that they had asked the women to go public about their diagnoses in order to better educate the public, but that so far only one woman has agreed to do so.

The announcement came just a day after officials confirmed that a baby had been born with microcephaly at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. According to Dr. Christine Curry, 15 pregnant women who delivered at the hospital tested positive for Zika. “Zika is a thing. Zika is real, and while we don’t understand it fully, that is not a reason to dismiss its impact,” said Curry.

Pregnant women in South Florida are being advised to wear insect repellant, long clothing, and to avoid extended time outdoors in order to minimize their chances of contracting the disease. While there have been 604 travel-related cases of Zika in Florida, there have only been 56 locally acquired infections reported thus far. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that doctors test all pregnant women in the state for Zika, and health officials have said that they will monitor all pregnant women “with evidence of Zika regardless of symptoms.”

On Tuesday, congress is expected to vote on a bill supported by Florida senator Marco Rubio that would provide $1.1 billion in Zika emergency funding — but also limit women’s access to abortions.

Read the full story at WPLG Local 10.


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