Zika virus in Texas
Texas is a state in the United States of America. It is the second most populous and second largest state by area in the US. Texas shares an international border with Mexico to the south and borders the states of New Mexico to the west.
The State of Texas has eight cases of Zika virus. In seven of them, the virus was contracted while traveling outside the United States. On February 2, 2016 the first case of Zika virus through sexual transmission in the United States was reported in Texas. In the case, a Dallas County resident had sexual contact with someone who acquired the Zika infection while traveling abroad. In light of the first reported case of Zika virus contracted in Texas, Officials of the Texas Department of State Health Services urged people to be aware of Zika virus and take adequate precautions.
On 10 February 2016, the third confirmed case in Dallas was confirmed. This is the first Zika case that was tested positive in a local laboratory. A 45-year-old resident of Dallas began showing symptoms of Zika after returning home from Honduras. The woman is not pregnant.
Pest Control companies in Florida are getting a surge in calls from residents worried about mosquitoes that spread Zika virus will arrive from neighborhood Mexico. The companies already began spraying homes, schools and other properties.
On 1 February 2016, the first case of Zika virus in Bexar County was confirmed. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District said that the person who contracted the virus recovered and is now virus-free.
On 19 February 2016, three people were confirmed positive for Zika virus. Six others were awaiting their test results. In all the three cases, the patients have traveled to South and Central American where they got the virus. Spraying to control the mosquito population in Bexar County will begin as early as next month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Texas DPS Lab has confirmed Zika virus in a person from Grayson County. The patient acquired the virus while traveling in the Caribbean.
Travis County is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. It is located in south central Texas. The estimated population in 2014 was 1,151,145.
On 4 February 2016, the first Zika case in Travis County was reported. As of 22 February, it is the only confirmed case of Zika in Travis County.
On 22 February 2016, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department said that five Travis County residents were tested negative for Zika virus. All the five residents have a history of traveling to countries where Zika virus is active. Two of them are pregnant women. The department is waiting results of another two dozen people.
Rapid Tests for Zika virus
The Texas Children's Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital developed a "Zika direct test" that would quickly determine if a patient has the virus. The hospitals announced on 23 February 2016, that the Zika direct test is the first hospital-based rapid detection tests for Zika virus in the country. The tests are customized to each hospital's diagnostic laboratory and will provide results within several hours. They can be performed on blood, amniotic fluid, urine or spinal fluid. The test works by detecting genetic material of the virus, and can distinguish Zika from other viral infections like Dengue or West Nile.