Health & Science

Mother Of Texas Newborn Whose Death Is Related To Zika Had Travelled To El Salvador

Officials believe she became infected with the virus in that Latin American country.

Doctor Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County's Public Health and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett reported that the first Zika-related death registered in Texas happened in Harris County.
Doctor Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County's Public Health (Left), and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett (Right) reported that the first Zika-related death registered in Texas happened in Harris County.

Harris County officials reported Tuesday the first death related to the Zika virus in the state of Texas.

Doctor Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County's Public Health Department, explained the victim was a female newborn who was born with microcephaly and other birth defects.

"This was a child who was born to a mother who was in a Zika affected area, in Latin America, and travelled to Harris County in her second trimester. The child, unfortunately, died shortly after birth," Doctor Shah explained in a press conference held with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

Doctor Shah specified the mother had travelled to El Salvador and authorities believe that is where she became infected.

Emmett attended a meeting of the State Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response on Monday and made clear the county is not waiting for federal funding in its fight against Zika.

"We’re just going on with our business and if we have to address this then we will," said Emmett and added: "and then there could be a point at which we would accumulate our expenses and then submit those for reimbursement from the federal government, like we do on any other emergency."

The National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine against Zika.

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