Texas Announces First In-State Transmission of the Zika Virus
Texas officials have announced the first in-state transmission of the Zika virus in Texas. In a statement released this afternoon, the Texas Department of State Health Services said there was a “very likely” chance a Zika case in the Rio Grande Valley originated from a mosquito in the area. The Cameron County woman, who was not named, is not pregnant and has not visited any places with active Zika transmission, the department said.
Last week, the patient tested positive for the virus but, DSHS said, the virus was only found in a urine sample, not a blood sample – meaning the patient cannot transmit the virus to mosquitoes.
DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said the state will work with health officials in Cameron County and Brownsville to monitor the possible spread of the virus through the remainder of the mosquito season.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas,” said Hellerstedt in a statement. “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.”
DSHS says there have been 257 cases of Zika in Texas through last week. Prior to this case, all the instances of infection were travel-related. You can read the full press release below.
This is a developing story.