Pregnant Woman Tests Positive for Zika in Texas

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito carries the Zika virus, an illness strongly suspected to be linked to an outbreak of birth defects

HOUSTON, Texas — A woman from El Salvador who now lives in Houston has tested positive for the Zika virus. A representative from the center where she is receiving care said it is unknown whether the woman contacted the virus through a bite from a mosquito or sexual contact.

The woman is the first pregnant woman in the Legacy Community Health Center’s system that has the Zika virus, reported KHOU11 in Houston. As reported by Breitbart Texas in February, health professionals from just this one clinic in Houston said they were screening about 300 pregnant women per day for the Zika virus. About half of these women are from countries where the Zika virus has been prevalent. The latest report from the center says they are still screening about 300 persons per day.

The Zika virus is prolific in El Salvador. The woman came to Houston from the country earlier this year.

Dr. Natalie Vanek from the Legacy Community Health clinic told the CBS affiliate in Houston in February, “We have a lot of patients that come back and forth from these endemic areas, so we feel it’s something that we need to do for our patients.” Vanek is an infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Vanek also said, “If there’s a concern, we’re going to have their blood sent to the CDC for testing and I’m sure OB doctors will be doing frequent ultrasounds on these women.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sending the clinic blood tests, and the clinic is examining the women for rashes, aches, or fever.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, health officials say that the danger for contacting the virus is for those who travel to, or are from, Central American and Latin American countries. The virus is extremely dangerous for the unborn babies of pregnant women.

Breitbart Texas’ Merrill Hope reported on Wednesday that Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) expressed concerns that Zika-carrying mosquitoes could bring the virus from Mexico into the United States. “It certainly would not be a surprise at all if we see some locally transmitted cases of Zika in Texas,” said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the TDSHS told the Brownsville Herald.

Zika is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that the virus is a great threat to pregnant women because it is “a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.” The CDC has issued warnings to pregnant women telling them to avoid traveling to Zika affected countries.

Breitbart Texas contacted the clinic in Houston but no response was immediately available.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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