In yet more unwelcome news, a woman in Brownsville, Texas has contracted the state’s first “local” case of Zika. The woman hadn’t recently traveled anywhere in the world where Zika is present. That makes Texas the second state after Florida where the virus is believed to have been spread from person to person by mosquitoes.
The new Zika case was announced Monday afternoon by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which added in a press release that everyone needs to protect themselves from mosquito bites, a suggestion that is perhaps easier to make than to follow:
“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 Brownsville woman isn’t currently pregnant. Zika is known to cause serious birth defects, and a new study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that some of them don’t show up for months after birth.