Zika Virus Found in South Texas
Zika has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect
Health officials in Texas reported that a pregnant woman who visited the Brownsville, TX area has tested positive for Zika virus.
In total, 300 Zika cases have been reported in Texas.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) said the woman from Bexar County had visited Brownsville in November, 2017 around the time six Texas residents contracted the virus from local mosquitoes.
According to the TDSHS, this women had not traveled outside of Texas, and had not been sick.
Her infection was detected during routine prenatal care.
The TDSHS said the woman could have been exposed to the virus by a mosquito bite, or through sexual contact with an infected partner.
The TDSHS urges everyone, especially pregnant women, to continue protecting themselves from mosquito bites when visiting the southern part of Texas during the winter months.
Pregnant women should also protect themselves against sexual transmission from partners who travel to those areas.
As of January, 2017, there is not a vaccine available for the Zika virus.
The entire Texas Zika data set is available here.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all.
Zika has also been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the virus while pregnant.
People everywhere can protect themselves from mosquito bites and the threat of Zika by taking a few simple steps:
- Apply EPA-registered insect repellents.
- Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts that cover exposed skin.
- Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Remove standing water in and around your home.
- Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.