1. Florida gov offers free Zika test kits for pregnant women

Scott directed state health officials yesterday to make the tests available at county health departments and also said the state would provide additional lab services to handle the expected increase to ensure test results are processed quickly.

Health officials last Friday announced that mosquitoes have apparently started spreading Zika on the US mainland, with a total now of 15 cases they strongly believe were caused by bites. In an unprecedented warning, federal health officials directed pregnant women to avoid a Zika-stricken part of Miami. The Zika virus can cause severe brain-related defects, including disastrously small heads, called microcephaly. Even if the brain appears to be developing normally, studies also have linked Zika to stillbirths, poor fetal growth and other problems.Scott promised in a statement yesterday to “aggressively fight against the Zika virus.” Yesterday’s announcement comes as some doctors have complained they were being forced to ration test kits and turn away pregnant women who were requesting them.

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