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In July, Texas and Hidalgo County health officials confirmed the first indigenous case of Zika virus infection. On Thursday, the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services announced the first locally acquired probable Zika Virus Disease Case for 2017 in Cameron County has been confirmed and second in the state.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The case is a Laguna Heights resident who reported to a Cameron County public health clinic for Zika Virus testing.

“Based on the information that we have, the source of the transmission appears to be mosquito-borne that took place several months ago. Clinical test results show that this person may have had the virus 2-3 months ago and it is no longer active in her system,” stated Dr. James W. Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority. “In addition, there is no evidence of any other mosquito transmitted cases related to this one.”

As precautionary measures, an epidemiological investigation of the index case household and education on the elimination of mosquito breeding sources have been provided to the adjacent homes by the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, vector control activities were conducted and continue to take place, including setting up of traps to test mosquitoes for Zika and mosquito spraying to reduce the risk of future cases.

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“We encourage everyone to continue to educate themselves and be vigilant about eliminating the risk of Zika,” stated Esmeralda Guajardo, Health Administrator. “We also want to remind women who are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant to discuss Zika with their physician and get tested for Zika during their prenatal care visits in addition to taking steps to avoid mosquito bites.”

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, though it can be spread through sexual contact. The four most common symptoms are fever, itchy rash, joint pain, and eye redness. While symptoms are usually minor, Zika can also cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, and other poor birth outcomes in some women infected during pregnancy.

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