Texan Contracts Zika After Visiting Miami

By Yessenia Funes Aug 16, 2016

Travel-related Zika cases don’t necessarily come from Latin America or the Caribbean. For one Texan, it came from a trip to Miami.

The resident, whose identity the CDC has kept private, lives in El Paso County, a predominantly Latinx county which is experiencing its first Zika-related incident. The traveler recently returned from the Florida city, which has seen at least 30 local transmissions of the virus. (The CDC even issued a travel warning for the area August 1.) After experiencing symptoms, the person sought testing and, upon confirmation, they became Texas’s 109th travel-related case. Just last week, an infant in Harris County, Texas, died from the virus, marking the first U.S. infant death due to Zika.

Mosquitoes in Texas aren’t yet known to transmit the virus, but it “is on alert for the possibility of local transmission,” an online statement from the Texas health department reads. “State efforts have been underway since January to delay and minimize the impact of Zika on Texas.”

Mosquitoes can become infected with the disease by biting someone who is infected. The traveler in this incident reported symptoms and went to the doctor, but others may not as the symptoms can be fairly mild. "Many people might not realize they have been infected," says the CDC, which advises people who have visited at-risk areas to prevent mosquitos at home from biting them, use protection during sex and see a doctor if they feel sick.