Report details zika virus potential in Texas, Gulf Coast

Report details zika virus potential in Texas, Gulf Coast.
Report details zika virus potential in Texas, Gulf Coast.

The Baylor College of Medicine issued a report this week on the potential risk that the zika virus could pose to Texas and areas of the Gulf Coast.

In the report, Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Kristy Murray explain that arboviruses, those that are spread through insect bites -- specifically mosquitoes -- are common in the area due to its climate characteristics and humidity. Dengue virus emerged in Houston between 2003 and 2005.

The zika virus is another pathogen that is primarily spread through mosquito bites and it has been reported in many Central and South American countries. Both Hotez and Murray note the recent alert on the virus that was issued by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it indicates that the virus causes mild disease, but there have been reports of a possible link to neurological problems and congenital microcephaly.

At the time of this report, there have not been reported cases of zika infection in Texas or any of the Gulf Coast states. Hotez and Murray believe that the virus appearing in the area is a possibility that would warrant study into the virus’ risk to Harris County, Texas and the entire Gulf Coast.

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Baylor College of Medicine Harris County

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