Texas Baby Confirmed to Have Died of Zika-linked Microcephaly

VOA News

Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health, announced Tuesday that the infant, who died a few weeks ago, had microcephaly, a medical condition linked to the Zika infection.

Test results Friday confirmed the mother’s Zika infection.

Texas health officials say there have been no reported cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas.

This was the second Zika-related death in the United States. The first was an elderly man who died in Utah in June, while battling a Zika infection, as well as other health conditions. The man is believed to have been infected with the virus while traveling abroad, although health officials have not specified where.

In Florida, where Zika also is a concern, Governor Rick Scott says four new cases, suspected to have been transmitted by mosquitoes, have been reported in Miami. The four cases all are in an area of less than 2 square kilometers.

Scott said Tuesday that the number of locally transmitted cases is 21. He has called on Congress to return from summer recess to approve emergency funding to help Florida deal with the health crisis.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has echoed that call, saying Tuesday during a visit to Miami that Congress should return and either pass the legislation that was not decided on before it left for recess, or create a bipartisan compromise bill allocating funds to fight the disease.

In the Cayman Islands, national health officials say they have confirmed the first locally contracted case of Zika virus. The patient is a man who first reported Zika symptoms in late July. He had not traveled to any countries where Zika is known to be present.