Local experts raise awareness, after 6 women test positive for Zika in Houston area
SAN ANTONIO – Local health experts have a warning after six pregnant women in the Houston area tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.
In one of the Texas A&M University-San Antonio labs, Megan Wise de Valdez, a professor, is studying mosquitoes.
“We just started trapping about 3 weeks ago and we will trap mosquitoes all the way until the end of September.
It’s research that started last year.
“We set about 120 traps all around the city.”
In collaboration with the city, her team goes out to capture mosquitoes and find out how many could carry the Zika virus.
“What we found last year was that every single neighborhood had a relatively decent number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and those are the mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
She says the west side had the most but none tested positive for the virus.
“The only way it can be locally transmitted here is if we have a sizable number of individuals coming back from a travel and are infected with Zika and then they get bitten by the mosquitoes here,” adds Wise de Valdez.
According to the Texas Department of Health services so far this year, 14 zika cases have been reported across the state.
1 in Bexar County and the most in Cameron County with 4 cases.
That's well below where state has been at recently with more than 300 cases reported in Texas over the previous two years combined.
“The local mosquito population state does not have the Zika virus introduced into them and we would like to keep it that way,” says Dr. Anita Kurian, with Metropolitan Health.
The CDC advises pregnant women should not travel to areas where the virus is present.
For more information on Zika, head online.