Free Zika screening in Florida leads to massive backlog of test results

MIAMI BEACH -- Thirty-four-year-old Krystal Cruz is seven months pregnant. On Tuesday, she joined a steady stream of residents at the Miami Beach police station for free Zika testing. 


Kystal Cruz turns in her sample for Zika testing.

CBS News

As CBS News’ David Begnaud reports, it will likely be weeks before she knows if she’s infected. 

“Is it a yes? Is it a no? What’s going on? It’s going to drive me crazy,” Cruz said. “But it is better to get tested and to know, then not to know.” 

Getting answers has become a blood-boiling wait for patients, and for doctors. Results from the state-funded Zika tests have been taking more than a month to be processed. 

For those who can afford private lab testing, the wait is much shorter -- often less than a week.

Dr. David Andrews heads the Pathology Lab at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. He’s been waiting for test results, dating back July. “Some of those we’ve been waiting for six to seven weeks,” he said.

He found out many were finished, but the paperwork hadn’t been processed. 

“We’re hoping that the vast majority of these specimens have been tested and that they’re just trying to find the papers so they can enter them into the system.”

“It sounds crazy, find the paper results, did they just get lost?” Begnaud asked.

“It is surprising, I think there’s an element of bureaucracy. Recognize everyone is trying to do their best, but I have a feeling the pieces were not coming together the way they are now that there is a lot of public attention being placed on it,” Dr. Andrews explained.