Health officials in Florida are dealing with two cases of the Zika virus that may have been spread by local mosquitos because those cases are not related to sexual transmission or to travelling to Zika impacted countries.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says, so far, Texas doesn't have any Zika cases like the ones discovered in Florida. But Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS, notes that nonetheless residents must remain alert, especially in places like Houston.
That is because our city's rainy and humid weather is conducive to mosquito breeding grounds.
Lurie also says medical researchers are making progress with a vaccine to protect us from Zika.
"We anticipate we’ll be done with some animal trials soon and we hope to go into human testing early this fall," Lurie explained.
However, until a vaccine is ready, public information is crucial.
Porfirio Villarreal, a spokesman with the Houston Health Department, says the city is attaching flyers to water bills as part of an effort to reach as many people as possible.
"Also, we’ve put posters with information on buses, so that’s another way of raising awareness," adds Villarreal.
As of July 25th, the Texas Department of State Health Services had reported 76 Zika cases, 21 of them in Harris County, all believed to be travel-related.