Texas Identifies First Local Case of Zika, Likely Spread By a Mosquito

Mosquitoes are examined at a lab in Houston. Photo via AP
Mosquitoes are examined at a lab in Houston. Photo via AP

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.

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.



Y’all I live in Brownsville, TX. I can throw a rock and hit Mexico. Is it supposed to mean something when they say she didn’t travel internationally? I’ve never asked a mosquito, but I just assume they don’t follow the proper protocols when crossing the border.