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Published On: Mon, Nov 28th, 2016

Texas: Local Zika transmission reported in Brownsville

Texas health officials announced today the first case of Zika virus disease likely transmitted by a mosquito in Brownsville, Texas. The patient is a Cameron County resident who is not pregnant and who was confirmed last week by lab test to have been infected. She reported no recent travel to Mexico or anywhere else with ongoing Zika virus transmission and no other risk factors. Laboratory testing found genetic material from the Zika virus in the patient’s urine, but a blood test was negative, indicating that the virus can no longer be spread from her by a mosquito.

Aedes aegypti Image/CDC

Aedes aegypti
Image/CDC

“We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS 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.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been informed by Texas health officials of the local Zika transmission. CDC is closely coordinating with Texas and local officials to increase surveillance efforts and vector control activities in this area.

“Even though it is late in the mosquito season, mosquitoes can spread Zika in some areas of the country,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Texas is doing the right thing by increasing local surveillance and trapping and testing mosquitoes in the Brownsville area.”

Through last week, Texas has had 257 confirmed cases of Zika virus disease. Until now, all cases had been associated with travel, including two infants born to women who had traveled during their pregnancy and two people who had sexual contact with infected travelers.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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