Texas health officials confirmed Tuesday that an infant who passed away shortly after birth in Harris County had microcephaly linked to the Zika virus.
The mother was infected with Zika while traveling in Latin America, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The child acquired the infection in the womb, officials said.
At least 99 cases of Zika have been reported in Texas, including two infants with microcephaly in Harris County. All Texas cases are related to travel in countries where Zika is prevalent, and no cases have been transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas.
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DSHS is coordinating with officials in Harris County and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to follow Zika cases.
“Zika’s impact on unborn babies can be tragic, and our hearts are with this family,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner. “Our central mission from the beginning has been to do everything we can to protect unborn babies from the devastating effects of Zika.”
The CDC has advised pregnant women not to travel to Zika-affected parts of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami.
DSHS has been emphasizing precautions, specifically for travelers and pregnant women, through an ongoing public education campaign and via www.TexasZika.org.