Health officials have warned people who are living in the Rio Grande Valley at the southernmost tip on the Texas border with Mexico to watch out for themselves against the possible rise of Zika outbreak in their area. They are pointing out the warm weather and the mosquito season as factors on the possible outbreak.
As reported by Fox News, the area, which houses 1.3 million people, are vulnerable to Zika virus because most of their houses don’t have sufficient air-conditioning and window screens to protect them from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are known to carry the virus.
Patrica Pena, a worker with the community nonprofit organization La Frontera Ministries, said to Guardian the that since most people live in poverty, they can’t have the financial capacity to even have a proper garbage disposal. With the problem of getting rid of their garbage, there arises the problem of their house getting infested with different kinds of creatures like mosquitoes.
Joseph McCormick, the regional dean of the University of Texas School of Public Health, echoed Pena’s concern. He said that the possible Zika outbreak will mostly affect the poorest of the poor in the area.
Currently, the Texas Department of State Health Services is currently encouraging pregnant woman and symptomatic individuals in the lower Rio Grande Valley to get tested for Zika virus. They said that if tested earlier, the virus could be treated earlier, preventing possible effects on the person carrying the virus.
As recorded, 80 percent of Zika cases does not show any symptoms but once affected by the Zika virus, it would have serious effects like severe birth defects to neurological problems. But what’s worse is that a large number of people in the area does not have a health insurance and there is no public hospital that could cater to the poor.
The first case of Zika virus in the US was first recorded last November, in the border town of Brownsville. This prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent pregnant women from going to that place.