A clinic mix-up leaves pregnant Issaquah woman in dark about Zika risk

The woman didn’t find out for months that she was likely infected with the virus that can cause serious birth defects. Clinic officials say they’ll do better.

Hospital officials in Washington state have apologized after failing for months to inform a pregnant woman she was likely infected with the Zika virus that can cause devastating birth defects.

Andrea Pardo, 33, of Issaquah, was tested for the virus in October, after becoming pregnant while living in Mexico. The results were ready by December, but Pardo wasn’t notified until April — 37 weeks into her pregnancy, just before she delivered her daughter, Noemi.

So far, the baby appears healthy. But the delay, blamed on a mistake at the University of Washington clinic where Pardo received care, deprived her of the chance to make an informed choice about her pregnancy, she said.

“Nothing would have changed for me,” she said. “But if I had found out around 20 weeks, I guess I could have made some decisions there.”

Dr. Timothy Dellit, a UW Medicine infectious-disease expert, told Kaiser Health News he called Pardo to explain the error.

“I apologized for the fact that test results were not given to her back in December,” he said. “It was just an unfortunate way those tests were handled.”

The incident adds to questions about careful tracking of Zika tests and the potential consequences of delayed or inaccurate results, even as recommendations for surveillance have expanded.

In the wake of the Zika outbreak that began in early 2015 in Brazil, there have been reports of botched or delayed tests in the U.S., health officials said.

In February, nearly 300 Zika tests for pregnant women conducted by the Washington, D.C., public health laboratory had to be repeated after the discovery that technicians skipped a necessary step, causing…

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