BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a travel warning for individuals visiting this border city after heightened concern for further spread of the Zika virus.
In response to five confirmed cases of Zika virus having been spread through mosquitoes, the CDC has labeled Brownsville as a yellow area.
The designation calls for pregnant women to postpone traveling to the area. The warning also calls for strict measures to prevent mosquito bites. Pregnant women who live in or travel to Brownsville are also warned to avoid sexual contact or use a prophylactic.
According to the CDC, local spread of Zika by mosquitoes has also been reported in Mexico along the border and the CDC has had a similar notice for travel to Mexico since December 10, 2015.
Since people infected with Zika will have only mild symptoms, additional people may be affected. In addition, active Zika virus spread may not be apparent yet, given that the incubation period for Zika virus infection can be as long as two weeks, the CDC’s warning revealed.
“We are working closely with Texas to gather and analyze new information every day. With the new information that there has been local spread of Zika for at least several weeks, we conclude that pregnant women should avoid the Brownsville area – and make every effort to prevent mosquito bites if they live or work there,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a prepared statement. “Together with Texas officials we are working to protect pregnant women from the potentially devastating effects of this virus.
Brownsville is in Cameron County and it is the southern-most city in the country. The city is directly across the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, a municipality that has been at the center of a fierce cartel war.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.