Second and Third case of Zika virus found in Harris County
UPDATE – Another case of Zika virus has been found in Harris County. Houston Health Department officials have confirmed the Houston man who traveled to Honduras has been found to have the virus. Health officials remind people to protect themselves against mosquito bites in Zika-affected countries.
HOUSTON - World Health Officials are in emergency mode over the rise of Zika virus cases around the world, and it hits close to home in Houston as second case has been reported in Harris county.
The latest case was reported after a woman traveled to Central America, and word is that she has completely recovered. The first case reported in Harris County was also a woman after she had traveled to El Salvador.
The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos and the Center for Disease Control says that there have been 31 documented "travel-associated" cases nationwide.
Globally, WHO say the Zika is now spreading explosively and the level of alarm is extremely high. So far 23 countries have been affected by the virus. And there could be three to four million cases of Zika virus over the next 12 months which is pretty scary to consider.
Grant Fowler, a professor with UT Health Medical School says, "This particular mosquito lives everywhere expect for Canada and Chile."
Whie the Zika virus usually causes minor symptoms like a rash for most people, pregnant women are the ones who need to be the most cautious because the virus can have a lifelong impact. It has been linked to brain damage in newborns.
Fowler says, "Especially if it's in the first three months...really any time is a threat... 3500 children have been born with this microsypalle."
It's so serious for expecting mothers that several South American countries have seen government officials suggest women put off getting pregnant for the next two years.
Back here in the U.S., the CDC has issued a strong warning to pregnant women about the danger of traveling to Brazil and other Latin America and Carribbean countries where mosquitoes continue to spread the Zika virus.
There is no vaccine or medication to prevent a Zika virus infection, so just remember that no vacation is worth that kind of risk.