CDC Zika Virus Update Brownsville, Texas

Advice for people living in or traveling to Brownsville, Texas

On December 14, 2016, CDC issued guidance related to Zika for people living in or traveling to Brownsville, Cameron County, TX. On November 28, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported the state’s first case of local mosquito-borne Zika virus infection in Brownsville. Additional cases of mosquito-borne Zika have been identified in the area, suggesting that there is a risk of continued spread of Zika virus in Brownsville. As a result, CDC has designated Brownsville as a Zika cautionary area (yellow area).

CDC designates areas for Zika virus transmission prevention in the continental United States and Hawaii as red or yellow.

Guidance for Zika cautionary areas (Yellow areas)

Zika cautionary area (yellow area): A geographic area where local spread of Zika virus has been identified, but there is not yet any evidence of widespread, sustained local spread. Although the specific level of risk in yellow areas is unknown, there is still a risk to pregnant women. Brownsville, TX, is currently designated as a yellow area.

Travel

  • Pregnant women who live in other areas should consider postponing travel to Brownsville, TX.

Prevention

  • Pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and their partners who live in or travel to Brownsville should be aware of local Zika virus transmission and should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Pregnant women and their partners who live in or travel to Brownsville should use condoms every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.

Testing and Diagnosis

  • Pregnant women who live in, traveled to, or had sex without a condom with someone who lives in or traveled to Brownsville on or after October 29, 2016, should be tested for Zika virus.
    • Pregnant women with symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika virus.
    • Pregnant women without Zika symptoms with ongoing risks for exposure (they live in or frequently travel [daily or weekly]) to Brownsville should talk to their healthcare provider to obtain routine testing for Zika virus in both the first and second trimesters.
    • Pregnant women without Zika symptoms who had limited travel to Brownsville or who had sex without a condom with a person who lives in or traveled to Brownsville should be tested for Zika virus.

Pregnancy Planning

  • Women who had limited travel to Brownsville or had sex without a condom with a person who lives in or traveled to Brownsville may consider waiting at least 8 weeks after symptoms started or last possible exposure before trying to get pregnant.
  • Men who had limited travel to Brownsville or had sex without a condom with a person who lives in or traveled to Brownsville may consider waiting at least 6 months after symptoms started or last possible exposure before trying to get their partner pregnant.
  • People living in Brownsville should talk to their healthcare provider about the possible risk for Zika infection and about their pregnancy plans.
  • Women who live in or frequently travel to Brownsville who are diagnosed with Zika should wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms started before trying to get pregnant.
  • Men who live in or frequently travel to Brownsville who are diagnosed with Zika should wait at least 6 months after symptoms started before trying to get their partner pregnant.
  • Given the limited data available about the persistence at the time of conception, some couples with a partner with possible Zika virus exposure may choose to wait longer or shorter than the recommended period to try to get pregnant.

Zika cautionary area in Brownsville, TX

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