Texas confirms first locally transmitted Zika virus case

Health officials in Texas have announced the first case Zika virus infection which is thought to have been spread by a mosquito within this US state.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the woman who has been diagnosed with the virus, from Cameron County, is not pregnant and she has not been identified. She informed officials that she had not travelled to Mexico or any other areas where Zika is known to be present.

As a precautionary measure, areas which are close to the locality of the infected woman are being sprayed to help reduce the population of the species of mosquito which is known to carry Zika, called the Aedes aegypti .

In a statement provided to the media, Dr John Hellerstedt, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner, said: "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," he added.

This announcement means makes Texas the second U.S. state to declare a locally-transmitted case of the Zika virus, after Florida was declared as the first state to have such a case, in July this year.

How is the Zika virus transmitted?

Zika infection most commonly occurs by a mosquito bite. In rarer cases, it's also possible to become infected by having sex with someone who is infected with the virus or through receiving a blood donation from someone who is infected with the virus. It also seems to be possible for pregnant women who are infected to pass the virus to their babies through the womb.

Read more Zika virus facts

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