Texas health officials have announced Monday their first case of Zika virus, making it the second US state to report such an occurrence after Florida. The victim is a woman who is not pregnant and has not traveled anywhere a Zika affected area in recent times, it was announced.
The Texas Department of State Health Services Monday confirmed their first local case of zika virus, in what was considered likely to be the result of local transmission, an assessment which can change evidence of mosquitoes carrying the disease be detected.
The woman reported no recent travel to Mexico or anywhere else with ongoing Zika virus transmission and no other risk factors, an official statement said and although there were no other cases of suspected local transmission, the health authorities have committed themselves to stay alert.
We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas, said John Hellerstedt, Department of State Health Services commissioner. We still don't believe the virus will become widespread in Texas, but there could be more cases, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.
Florida was the first state to report the local spread of Zika, with 238 such cases as of last week, as part of more than 1,200 infections statewide so far this year.
The virus has swept mainly across Latin America and the Caribbean, and can cause birth defects if pregnant women are infected. A series of brain and skull malformations are associated with Zika, including a condition called microcephaly, in which babies are born with unusually small heads.