New warning about the mosquito-borne Zika virus

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Some health officials are concerned a new mosquito-borne virus called Zika. (WPVI)

As the weather warms and more mosquitoes buzz health officials have a warning. The first confirmed case of the Zika virus is in Harris County, Texas after a woman traveled to El Salvador.

It's spread by two types of mosquitoes usually found in tropical climates.

Symptoms include fever, rash and joint pain that usually last several weeks. There is particular concern for pregnant women who may travel to certain regions as there is a possible link between the virus and birth defects.

Dr. Scott Weaver with UTMB's Institute for Human Infections and Immunity says its a major concern.

"There have been only a few cases definitively linked to Zika virus infection but we think it's likely many of these cases that may total more than 3,000 in Brazil alone could be due to Zika virus infection," said Weaver. "That's a major concern."

Members of the research team at UTMB's Galveston National Laboratory have been tracking the spread of the Aedes mosquito-borne Zika outbreak, especially once it reached Brazil last year.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment though UTMB is conducting experiments in that area. The best advice health officials have is to take precautions to prevent any mosquito bites.
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