Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida

How Long Do Zika Test Results Take? Actually 4-5 Weeks, According To Florida Department Of Health

How long does a pregnant woman have to wait to find out if she does or does not have theZikavirus?

 

A town hall in Miami on Thursday night made it clear the Florida Department of Health has been significantly understating the amount of time it takes.

For weeks, Florida Department of Health officials have saidZikatest results will be available to patients in one to two weeks. In fact, as recently as Thursday afternoon, the department's dailyZikaupdate gave the one- to two-week timeline. But in a town hall Thursday night, a department representative said results are actually taking much longer.The town hall took place at Temple Israel in Miami. With WLRN's Tom Hudson as moderator, Florida Department of Health representative Dr. Lillian Rivera initially stuck with the one-to-two week timeline.

 

"The Department of Health, I believe, has said it’s a one- to two-week waiting period at this point. Is that still accurate?" Hudson asked.

"Yes, that is still accurate," Rivera replied.But then another panelist, Dr. Chris Braden of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said some types of testing can take several weeks. Questioned by Hudson, Dr. Rivera said the Department of Health has begun telling patients results take longer.

 

"It could be four weeks, it could be five weeks," she said. "We are preparing them for that."

 

When Dr. Rivera was asked after the panel why the Department of Health has stuck with its one- to two-week timeline, she apologized. She also said the number of samples coming in has created a backlog and -- echoing Braden -- that some tests take more time to complete.

 

"I do promise you that we’re going to come up with the true number so that people can understand what the expectation is," Rivera said.

 

Rivera said the four- to five-week timeline is accurate for the majority of patients.

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

At a town hall on Thursday night, a Florida Department of Health said Zika test results are taking four to five weeks -- a departure from the department's timeline of one to two weeks.
Kate Stein / WLRN
/
At a town hall on Thursday night, a Florida Department of Health said Zika test results are taking four to five weeks -- a departure from the department's timeline of one to two weeks.