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Texas Expands Zika Recommendations Ahead Of 2017 Mosquito Season

Texas health officers are increasing testing suggestions for pregnant women in South Texas as the arrival of heat climate will increase the danger for native transmission of the mosquito-borne virus that has been proven to trigger extreme delivery defects.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on Friday advisable testing of all pregnant residents of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties in each the primary and second trimesters of being pregnant. It can also be urging testing for any resident who has a rash plus no less than one different widespread Zika symptom: fever, joint ache or eye redness.

For the remainder of the state, Texas is recommending testing for anybody with a minimum of three of these 4 Zika signs and all pregnant women who’ve traveled to areas with ongoing Zika transmission, together with journey to any a part of Mexico.

“Zika remains a significant health risk to pregnant women and their babies, and it’s only a matter of time until we see local transmission here again,” DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt stated in a press release.

He stated the state needs to “cast as wide a net as possible” with testing, noting that the Lower Rio Grande Valley stays most in danger.

Texas had six instances of native mosquito transmission of Zika virus illness in Brownsville in November and December. The area is taken into account a possible place for Zika to unfold due to its historical past of native transmission of dengue, a intently associated virus, and its proximity to Mexico, the place there continues to be native Zika transmission, together with in communities simply throughout the border.

Federal health officers this week reported that one in 10 women with confirmed Zika infections throughout being pregnant in 2016 had a fetus or child with start defects.

With its outbreak final yr, Texas turned the second state inside the continental United States to report native Zika transmission, following Florida, which reported its first regionally transmitted instances in July. Puerto Rico and different U.S. territories have reported a complete of 36,504 instances of Zika, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas is certainly one of a number of U.S. states with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry Zika.

There is not any vaccine or remedy for Zika, which additionally may be transmitted sexually. An estimated 80 % of individuals contaminated haven’t any signs, making it troublesome for people to know whether or not they have been contaminated. 

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Richard Chang)

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