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Texas Confirms First Locally Transmitted Case of Zika Virus

Texas is now the second state in the U.S. to scientifically confirm a locally transmitted case of the Zika virus.

Earlier this year, cases of the virus began popping up across Texas as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a global health emergency. Now, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services say that a woman in the Rio Grande Valley has been infected via a mosquito.

“The patient is a Cameron County resident who is not pregnant and who was confirmed last week by lab test to have been infected,” the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a press release. “She reported no recent travel to Mexico or anywhere else with ongoing Zika virus transmission and no other risk factors.”

READ MORE: Zika Virus in Texas: What You Need to Know

Although experts have cautioned that it was only a matter of time before the virus was found in local mosquitos, Texans are advised to use extra caution against being bitten.

“We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas,” Texas State Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt told NBC News. “We still don’t believe the virus will become widespread in Texas, but there could be more cases, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.”

Those infected with the virus may suffer from a mild fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes that last for two to seven days. Pregnant women are especially at risk, as the virus has been connected to birth defects. There is currently no vaccine for the virus.

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Texas Confirms First Locally Transmitted Case of Zika Virus