Travel-Related Zika Case Confirmed in West Texas

FILE-In this Feb. 11, 2016 file photo, Dallas County Mosquito Lab microbiologist Spencer Lockwood sorts mosquitos collected in a trap in Hutchins, Texas, that had been set up in Dallas County near the location of a confirmed Zika virus infection. The quest for a vaccine began less than a year …
AP File Photo/LM Otero

A Texan infected with the Zika virus has been confirmed in Midland County in West Texas. Health officials said the victim had recently traveled to a country where the virus is locally transmitted by mosquitoes.

The announcement by the City of Midland health officials bring the count to 119 cased of Zika having been confirmed in Texas. None of those cases have originated in Texas, News West 9 reported on Friday. No locally contracted cases of Zika have yet to be reported in Texas.

Officials quickly moved to assure local residents that there is no current risk to Midland County residents, the report confirms. The infected person was reported to health officials by a local health provider. Officials did not say which country the person’s travel included.

The type of mosquito that normally transmits the Zika virus is not indigenous to the local area, county health officials relayed.

Locally contracted cases continue to be found in southern Florida, the AP reported on Friday. Florida health officials reported that two new cases have been confirmed as being local contracted. “I have been informed that two Zika cases have been linked to Miami Beach, one a tourist who visited the Beach approximately two weeks ago, and another a resident who also works on the Beach,” Miami City Manager Jimmy Morales wrote in an email to the Miami Beach mayor and city commissioners.

The State of Florida has now confirmed 35 cases of locally contracted Zika infections. So far, health officials claim the local infections are contained to the Wynwood area. Six other cases outside of the Wynwood area are being investigated by have not yet been confirmed, the report claimed.

“One case does not mean active transmission is taking place and that’s why the department conducts a thorough investigation by sampling close contacts and community members around each case to determine if additional people are infected,” Florida Health Department officials wrote in a statement.

Texas officials are still concerned that the Obama Administration is not releasing funds to states that are needed for research and mosquito suppression. Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this month demanding the release of nearly $400,000,000 in federal funds that are earmarked for Zika preparedness, Breitbart Texas reported.

“In light of the mosquito-to-human transmission of the Zika virus in Florida – and rising concerns about Zika in Texas – it is imperative that the federal government act now to free up whatever funds are available to combat Zika,” the Texas governor wrote. “Reports from Congress suggest that the administration has approximately $400 million that it could use to protect Zika-prone states. I would urge your administration to dispense a meaningful portion of that money to sufficiently combat against the growing threat of Zika in Texas.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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