Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mosquito-Borne Virus Knocking on Texas' Door

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mosquito-Borne Virus Knocking on Texas' Door

Article excerpt

Texas health officials are closely watching to see whether Zika - a mosquito-borne illness rapidly spreading across South and Central America, and one that may be linked to disturbing birth defects in Brazil - makes it to the Lone Star State.

The Zika virus is confirmed in cases from Brazil to Mexico, including one reported near Monterrey, less than 150 miles from the Texas border. Puerto Rico just reported its first case in December.

State officials say they don't believe that the Zika virus is an immediate threat to Texas, but many questions remain unanswered.

Brazil has had a dramatic jump in cases of microcephaly, a birth defect in which a child is born with a smaller-than-normal head, a sign of an underdeveloped brain. The number increased from 200 in 2014 to 3,000 last year. …

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