Texas Has Reported Its First Zika-Related Death

Texas has reported its first Zika-related death on Tuesday after a baby girl, whose mother traveled to her native El Salvador while pregnant during her second trimester, died post-birth in a suburban Houston hospital.

The girl, who died a few weeks ago, had microcephaly, which is linked to the Zika virus, according to Dr. Umair Shah, the executive director of Harris County Public Health.

Test results that linked the death to Zika were confirmed on Friday. Officials did not release the name of the mother.

The only other confirmed Zika-related death in the United States was that of an elderly Utah man who died in June. He suffered from other health conditions.

Florida is the only U.S. state that has reported domestic-grown Zika transmission by mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County. Texas has reported 97 Zika cases, all of which were contracted during travel abroad. Harris County has reported 31 Zika cases.

Last week, Texas officials announced that the state’s Medicaid program would provide mosquito repellent to all expectant mothers and women between the ages of 10 and 45. However, Judge Ed Emmett doubted the efficiency of such a program.

“How many people are going to go get a prescription for bug spray? I think the more realistic way is to find corporate partners and make it happen,” he said.

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