First Travis County case of congenital Zika virus confirmed

Austin Public Health says that it has received laboratory confirmation that an infant born in Travis County with microcephaly was diagnosed with the Zika virus. The child is the first confirmed case of congenital Zika virus in Travis County. 

Officials say it is not believed to be a locally acquired case of Zika. The mother emigrated from Central America in August 2016 and lived there for the majority of the time during her pregnancy. She reported experiencing an illness consistent with Zika early in her pregnancy. Her child was born September 2016.

In Travis County, 20 people have tested positive for Zika including six pregnant women. All cases are travel associated infections.

As of December 30, 2016 a total of 294 cases of illness related to Zika have been reported in Texas. That includes 20 pregnant women, two infants infected before birth and two people who had sexual contact with travelers.

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Sexual transmission also has been documented.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

Zika virus infection in pregnant women is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Zika also has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system in which a person’s immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.

Austin Public Health staff are available 24/7 to support healthcare providers (512) 972-5555 responding to any patient with a suspect Zika virus infection.

You can get more information here.

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