An expectant couple that moved from Miami to Washington to avoid the Zika virus when she got pregnant is worrying about the results of their retests after D.C. officials announced hundreds of tests performed last year were flawed.
"We find out that Zika is in Miami and we find out that Zika has been in Miami for seven weeks," said Melissa Levitt, now nine months pregnant.
So they moved away from Florida.
"We were terrified,” she said. “We felt like this was our baby's life and we don't want to risk it."
She and her husband, Brandon, thought their Zika worries were over until they learned about flawed testing in the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences’ Public Health Laboratory.
"For seven months, we've breathed a sigh of relief,” she said. “Then all of the sudden yesterday to hear, Wait, this test may have given you a false negative, it's really scary."
Multiple controls failed, a spokeswoman with the Department of Forensic Sciences said.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
The lab botched Zika tests for 409 people between July and December -- mostly pregnant women. Those patients were told they tested negative, but they all have to be retested. So far, two women who were pregnant have found out they do have the virus after being told they didn’t.
"We realize it was just a false sense of security for the last seven or eight months,” Brandon Levitt said. “Pretty scary."
The baby's ultrasounds look healthy, but the Levitts can't help but worry.
“There are some symptoms of Zika that develop after birth that you couldn't have even seen in an ultrasound,” Melissa Levitt said.
The Levitts’ doctor has 20 patients being retested.
"We'll make sure that they have the follow up that we've been recommending -- every 4 weeks," said Dr. Rita Driggers, medical director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
She added, "The earlier you're informed, the more options you have as far as what you want to do to move forward."
The Department of Forensic Sciences said it’s doing an internal review. It can't comment on whether anyone will face disciplinary action.