Bexar County woman likely contracted virus in Brownsville, officials say
HOUSTON – The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the first Zika virus infection of a pregnant Texas woman who did not travel outside the state.
Officials said the Bexar County resident traveled to Brownsville in November, the same timeframe six residents there acquired cases of the Zika virus disease from mosquitoes.
The woman did not get sick and was tested for Zika during her prenatal care.
Officials said the woman’s infection may have been transmitted by mosquitoes or through sexual contact with a person who was infected. However, because the infection was not transmitted in Bexar County, officials said it does not pose an increased risk of Zika there.
The DSHS said it continues urging everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites when visiting Brownsville or any other part of the state where there is mosquito activity, adding that pregnant women should protect themselves against sexual transmission from partners who have traveled to those areas by avoiding sexual contact or using condoms during the pregnancy.
The DSHS said the mosquito-borne virus can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes. Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all.
Zika has also been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect, and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the virus while pregnant.
Protect yourself from the threat of the Zika virus by:
- Applying EPA-registered insect repellents.
- Wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts that cover exposed skin.
- Using screens or closing windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Removing standing water in and around your home.
- Covering trash cans or containers where water can collect.