South Korea has confirmed another case of the Zika virus infection, raising the number of people infected with the virus here to 16, health authorities said Monday.
Though Brownsville is on the Mexico border, the woman said she hadn't recently traveled to Mexico or anywhere that was experiencing a Zika outbreak, and she didn't have any other risk factors, health officials said. State officials say further investigation is necessary to try to figure out how and where the woman was infected.
The state's first local transmission of the Zika Virus was confirmed on Monday in the Rio Grande Valley.
Health officials are not surprised that a local transmission was found in the state, according to Dr. John Hellerstedt, the TDSHS commissioner.
One Texas-based epidemiologist also criticized politicians' focus on small geographic areas, such as Miami Beach, noting that public health officials are not surveilling for the disease, and that four out of five patients are asymptomatic.
"When 80 percent of the people who have Zika do not have symptoms, we have to think about the possibility that a lot of us here are walking around with it", she said.
Texas health officials have announced Monday their first case of Zika virus, making it the second USA state to report such an occurrence after Florida.
Philip Huang, medical director of the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, said that mosquito testing is winding down in Austin and that his department is waiting to hear whether the state will continue to test mosquitoes.
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Florida is the only other state in the US where mosquitoes are transmitting the virus.
However, with the exception of the most recent case of the Brownsville woman, the other cases were all contracted through travel.
The patient is a woman in Brownsville, a town near the Mexican boarder on the Gulf Coast, who is not pregnant.
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As we've previously reported, Zika virus can often be mistaken for the cold or flu because of similar symptoms, which include fever, joint pain, rash, and eye redness.
The CDC advises pregnant women to stay away from places where Zika is actively spreading if at all possible. Areas near the infected woman are being sprayed to reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species largely responsible for the spread of the virus. However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects in fetuses and infants.
Although these babies all tested positive for Zika exposure in the womb, abnormal head growth wasn't detected until at least 5 months of age, according to the report.