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Zika Virus Updates: First Case Confirmed in Travis County

Update Date: Jan 07, 2017 10:19 AM EST

After receiving the laboratory result of an infant, Austin Public Health confirmed the first case Zika Virus in Travis Country. The baby born with microcephaly in Travis County was diagnosed with Zika virus, and is the first confirmed case of the congenital disease in the county. 

Health officials confirm that this is not a locally acquired case as the mother who carried the virus emigrated from Central America in August 2016 and stayed there for the majority of the time during her pregnancy, Fox reports. The mother of the infant with Zika allegedly had this condition during the early stages of her pregnancy. 

In the county, 20 people have tested positive for the virus, including six pregnant women. All cases have been confirmed to be travel-associated infections.

On Dec. 30, 294 cases of illness related to Zika, including 20 pregnant women and two infected infants, have been reported in Texas, including two who had sexual contact with infected patients. Besides intercourse, the virus can spread through a mosquito bite.  

As of press time, there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika. The common symptoms of this congenital disease are fever, rash, conjunctivitis (or red eyes), and joint pain.

Zika is also linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is a nervous system ailment that shows the immune system damaging nerve cells. This results in the muscle becoming weak, which could lead to paralysis. 

Pregnant women who are infected by the Zika virus can lead to microcephaly, a condition where the baby's head is smaller, in addition to other fetal brain defects. Further, pregnant moms with Zika are the carriers. 

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