Medicine

More Locally Transmitted Zika Cases in Texas

The first patient, who is not pregnant, was confirmed after her lab results came back last week.

Four more locally-transmitted cases of the Zika virus have been identified in Cameron County, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday.

"Although none of the additional cases were pregnant, women who are pregnant should discuss the risk of Zika with their physician and get the appropriate screenings to ensure a healthy pregnancy", states Esmeralda Guajardo, Health Administrator.

In New York City so far, 325 pregnant women have tested positive for the virus. More than 200 infants have been born to women with a Zika virus infection in New York City, according to the health department.

The total number of Zika virus cases on the Treasure Coast is now 16, with 11 in St. Lucie County and one in Indian River County. While symptoms are usually minor, Zika also can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, and other poor birth outcomes in women infected during pregnancy.

"We identified the first case where Zika virus appears to have affected the development of the anterior chamber or front portion of the eye during gestation and caused glaucoma after birth", said co-author of the study Albert Icksang Ko, professor at the Yale School of Public Health. "However, winters are mild in southern Texas, and mosquito populations can rebound even during short periods of warmer weather".

Residents and visitors also should use repellents when outdoors. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net. Dress protectively by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, socks, and shoes whenyou are outside.

These new cases were discovered this week in Cameron County; that's in Brownsville.

Using air conditioning or window and door screens that are in good fix to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

The mosquito species most commonly associated with Zika's spread is not found in the tri-state, but a similar species that scientists think could transmit the disease inhabits the area. DSHS recommends pregnant women avoid traveling to locations with sustained, local Zika transmission, including Mexico.



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