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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott asks for more Zika virus test kits



Florida Gov. Rick Scott is asking the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for another 250 kits to test for the Zika virus.

Since Feb. 9, the state has used 255 such kits, with more than 1,000 additional kits available to the state Department of Health, according to a press release from Scott's office Wednesday. By and large, the kits have been used to test pregnant women, for whom the illness can be most detrimental, as there is believed to be a link between the mosquito-borne disease and severe infant deformities.

"I appreciate that the CDC has previously supplied Florida with these antibody tests and I ask that the CDC take immediate action to fulfill this request so we can continue to stay ahead of the possible spread of the Zika virus in Florida," the governor said in a statement.

For the last month, Zika has dominated the Scott administration's public health messaging with an update on new cases being sent out daily by Surgeon General John Armstrong and a public health emergency declared by Scott. Wednesday afternoon, Armstrong testified about Zika in Congress.

Wednesday's Zika update announced three new cases, for a total of 32 in the state, none of which were transmitted within the state. Three of the infected people are pregnant women.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 2:27pm]


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