For everyone else, the testing advice is not so clear.
"I've been bounced around," said
Initially, Kinney says, she visited a walk-in retail clinic on
Instead, Kinney's test results were sent to the
"There is no structure, no authority," Kinney said. "Nobody knows what's going on. Nobody's giving any instruction, nothing. I'm really furious.
A month after health officials reported that mosquitoes are spreading Zika in a one-square-mile section of
A spike in demand for Zika diagnostics,
For everyone else, though, testing has become a source of frustration.
At a community meeting this week in
"We've been told results can take four to six weeks," Magazine said, his voice trembling. "We should be out shopping for baby clothes, but we can't do so. ... If a pregnant woman with symptoms is taking six weeks to get results, how many other people are waiting for results?"
Nobody knows what's going on. Nobody's giving any instruction.
State Surgeon General
Philip said commercial labs offer testing, too, and that federal regulators are working to expedite diagnostics. She cited an example of the
After the meeting, Philip said she thinks the health department's process for identifying and reporting Zika cases is working well.
"I've not been hearing a lot of issues," she said, "but we certainly want to know about them."
Through its three public health labs,
"We are operating at full capacity,'' said Mara Gambineri, a health department spokewoman. "We're receiving approximately 225 samples per day."
225 Zika test samples received by
Symptoms worsened throughout the day, she said, and on Monday she awoke to find the rash had spread to the rest of her body. Dickinson said she called the health department for advice on Zika testing, and that the person she spoke with tried to talk her out of it.
"She said it would just be a waste of my money and what would I do differently if I found out I was positive, that it just didn't make any sense for me to be tested," Dickinson said. "It would just be a waste of my money."
Dickinson said she found it strange that the health department would advise her against getting tested.
"Wouldn't they want to know how many cases there are?" she asked. "They don't want to know."
The next call Dickinson said she made was to her doctor in
"I called my health insurance to see if it was covered," said Dickinson, who is insured by Florida Blue through her employer, "and apparently you have to have it be proven that it is medically necessary to get the test. Otherwise it would be about
Florida Blue Spokesman
"If ordered by a physician, Zika testing is covered at the same level as other diagnostic testing, and is subject to the same applicable deductible, co-insurance or co-payment outlined in the member's plan," Bartel said in a written statement.
Dickinson disagreed: "It was never that simple."
She provided the Herald with a transcript of a message she received from her employer's insurance benefits administrator stating that her physician would have to prove that a test was medically necessary and receive prior authorization.
Dickinson said she cannot afford to pay
Then she went to a commercial lab in
"I feel they're actually trying to hide the number of cases," she said, "because how many people who live in this neighborhood can afford a
I feel they're actually trying to hide the number of cases.
Diego Shmuels, director of quality and clinical practice practice management for
"They reported it to where the patient said she lived," Shmuels said. He said the lab also reports results to
Kinney said she is glad to have finally reached an epidemiologist with the state health department, but she's disappointed by how many steps it took to reach the right person.
"Unless I really kind of made a stink, I wouldn't have gotten to her," she said. "I would think you would want people to get tested so you can give them directives on what to do, and things that can happen. Can you get it twice? What happens if I'm eating somewhere and I get bit, and that mosquito bites somebody else?
"If I can give it to someone else, you should advise me to not be outside," she added. "I was thinking of going to
(c)2016 Miami Herald
Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.