Zika virus

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The threat of the Zika virus is likely to return to Texas this summer, and, as KUT reports, one of the biggest difficulties health experts are coming up against is a gap in knowledge among citizens. A recent study conducted by the University of Texas’s Medical Branch has found that many vulnerable Texas women aren’t aware of their risk for infection.

Yale Rosen

A virus more common than Zika can cause deafness, blindness, cognitive delays, and even death in babies, but an alarmingly small number of women know about it.  

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.

CNN

The Lone Star State reported its first mosquito-transmitted Zika virus case Monday, making it only the second state other than Florida in which the virus has been spread from mosquitoes to humans, FiveThirtyEight reports.

AP photo

Kansas now has 11 reported cases of Zika, reports The Wichita Eagle. In response to the threat, the state has been drawing upon federal dollars to aid in the battle against the virus.

To date, Kansas has received about $1.2 million to fight the virus, which can cause birth defects when it infects pregnant women.

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This week, a Texas resident caught Zika in Florida and brought it home, according to health officials in Texas. This means Zika's now spreading from state to state, reports NBC News.

This is just more evidence that, once the disease infects people in an area, it can easily spread. The traveler picked up the disease in Miami, where 30 cases have been reported. However, there's no evidence the virus is spreading in Florida like it has across Latin America.

KFOR.com

The insect that transmits the Zika virus is known as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. And now that particular breed of mosquito has been discovered in southwest Oklahoma, reports KFOR.

The insect was found after the Oklahoma State Department of Health began a collaborative mosquito surveillance project with Oklahoma State University. Entomologists detected the mosquitoes in six different Oklahoma communities.

KFOR.com

The insect that transmits the Zika virus is known as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. And now that particular breed of mosquito has been discovered in southwest Oklahoma, reports KFOR.

The insect was found after the Oklahoma State Department of Health began a collaborative mosquito surveillance project with Oklahoma State University. Entomologists detected the mosquitoes in six different Oklahoma communities.

MZMO / Flickr Creative Commons

As the threat of Zika increases, scientists are searching for creative ways to stem the tide of mosquitos in the United States. One answer may come in an animal that has traditionally been the stuff of classic horror movies: bats.

“In the United States, the vast majority of bats are insectivorous bats,” Dianne Odegard recently told Texas Standard. Odegard is a “bat rehabilitator” in Austin.

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Concerns continue to grow in Texas about the spread of Zika, The state has now documented its first baby born with a disease linked to the virus. The infant with Zika-linked microcephly was born near Houston, reports USA TODAY. The mother had arrived in Texas from Latin America, where she presumably contracted the virus. Officials insist there is no risk to the public, as neither the mother nor the baby are infectious.

With the Zika virus now in the Sunflower State, state agencies and university laboratories are searching for methods to keep the number of cases at a minimum. KMUW's Abigail Wilson has the story.

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As summer descends, concerns continue to mount that the Zika virus will spread in Texas over the coming months. In response, the City of Amarillo’s Public Health and Environmental Health departments have launched campaign called Mission Mosquito. The goal is to educate the public on how to prevent mosquito bites and reduce breeding areas in the city, reports MyHighPlains.com.

Daily Beast

Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are expected to arrive in the United States as early as this summer, notes The Daily Beast. The disease is known to cause birth defects when contracted by pregnant women. Texas is expected to be among the states most affected by the virus.

Center for Disease Control Public Health Image Library

It’s a tiny virus, visible only with an electron microscope, but it could wreak major havoc this summer if it’s not contained. As the weather warms and mosquitos arrive, the Zika virus could spread further through Texas, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Texas health officials have deemed Zika “the virus from Hell.” As summer approaches, efforts are underway to combat the virus, reports The Austin American Statesman. The state’s undertaking is focused on controlling the mosquito population.

LM Otero / AP photo

State health officials have confirmed the first case of the Zika virus in the state of Kansas. The patient is an adult in southwest Kansas, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the case involves a person who had traveled to a country with “local Zika virus transmission.” The patent’s diagnosis was then confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Tom Dart / The Guardian

The World Health Organization recently warned that the Zika virus is spreading “explosively” through the Americas. Some experts estimate there could be as many as four million infections across the two continents over the next year, reports The Guardian. And Texas is perfectly situated to allow the virus to flourish.