The Texas Department of State Health Services on Monday reported the state’s first case of the Zika virus likely transmitted by a local mosquito.
Officials are reporting a case of local transmission of Zika in Cameron County, the state’s southern-most county, in a non-pregnant female who was confirmed to have the virus last week. The patient reported not having traveled to any areas with ongoing transmission or other factors. A blood test was negative, meaning a mosquito could not become infected through the patient.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas,” DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt said in a statement. “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.”
Texas is the second state to report local transmission of the virus, following Florida, which reported the local transmission of Zika over the summer.
According to the department, Texas has had 257 confirmed cases of Zika. All previous cases have been associated with travel.