The state has been preparing for the possibility of local cases for some time. The person infected lives in Cameron County and is not pregnant. The woman was confirmed by a lab test to have the virus despite no recent travel to anywhere with ongoing Zika transmission.
Florida has also reported locally acquired cases, with over 235 people contracting the virus from local mosquitoes.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner in a statement.
Responders are working to confirm where the person contracted the virus. The health department reminded women who are pregnant not to travel to places where Zika is spreading, like nearby Mexico. So far Texas has reported 257 confirmed cases of the virus from travel and sexual contact.
“We still don’t believe the virus will become widespread in Texas,” said Hellerstedt. “But there could be more cases, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.”