An expert in pediatric infectious diseases told reporters in Dallas that people in Texas who are infected with the Zika virus could infect mosquitoes and start a new “transmission cycle” in Texas.
Dr. Jeffrey Kahn is the chief of pediatric infectious diseases for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He also serves a director of infectious diseases at Children’s Medical Center. In an interview with NBCDFW in Dallas on Tuesday, Dr. Kahn said, “As we head towards springtime, if we have a lot of people infected with Zika, either because they are imported cases or sexually acquired cases, that may trigger the mosquitoes to get infected with the virus and start that transmission cycle. And, once that occurs, it’s almost impossible to get the virus out of the population.”
The doctor’s comment came following the first reported case in Texas of the Zika virus being transmitted by sexual contact, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Merrill Hope. A patient who had contracted the disease while travelling to a country where the Zika virus is active passed the virus along to their partner via sexual contact.
“Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others,” said Zachary Thompson, Dallas County Health and Human Services director. “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.”
Dallas County officials told NBCDFW they know there are already mosquitoes in the Dallas area that are the type that can carry the virus. They are now attempting to trap mosquitoes to get a count of how many of that particular type are in the area.
So far, there have been no cases reported where a person became infected without either traveling to a foreign country where the virus is active in mosquitoes or by having sexual contact with an infected person.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.