Despite threat downgrade, Zika remains a risk in Texas

Jan 9, 2017

Credit Jentavery / Creative Commons

Back in November, the World Health Organization announced that the Zika virus was no longer designated a public health emergency. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet.

As The Huffington Post reports, health officials are working to prevent a resurgence of the disease. And then there’s the matter of the thousands of children who have been born with birth defects, due to Zika. These children will need expensive, intensive therapy and care.

Meanwhile, regions of the world that dodged a large Zika virus outbreak in 2016 are still at risk in 2017. This could include Texas. Since November, Texas has recorded six cases of Zika virus suspect of being transmitted by local mosquitoes. This means a local mosquito population in the U.S. appears to have the virus and is now passing it to U.S. residents.

The small outbreak occurred far from the High Plains, on the southernmost tip of Texas. But it shows that certain U.S. regions are vulnerable to Zika.