An infant with the birth defect microcephaly died shortly after birth, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Tuesday. It is the first Zika-related death reported in Texas.
The health department says the infant recently died in Harris County, a region of Texas that contains Houston.
The mother of the infant was in Latin America during her pregnancy where she was infected with the virus. The fetus also contracted the virus, and the health department says the infant’s birth defect and Zika infection were confirmed via testing. As of now, Texas does not have any cases of Zika spreading from local mosquitoes. The state has reported 99 case of Zika from travelers, and a total of two infants with microcephaly, both in Harris County.
“Zika’s impact on unborn babies can be tragic, and our hearts are with this family,” Dr. John Hellerstedt, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner, said in a statement. “Our central mission from the beginning has been to do everything we can to protect unborn babies from the devastating effects of Zika.”
A region in Florida north of downtown Miami is experiencing local transmission of the virus from mosquitoes. As of Monday, the area has 17 cases of Zika that are not travel-related. Florida has more than 370 travel-related cases of Zika, too.
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