HOUSTON – A newborn Harris County girl has become Texas’ first death related to the Zika virus.
According to a statement from Harris County Public Health, the girl suffered from birth defects when she was born, and tested positive for Zika. She died shortly after birth.
Officials said the girl’s mother traveled to Latin America during her pregnancy, where it is believed she became infected.
"We are devastated to report our first case of Zika-associated death, and our hearts go out to the family," said Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of HCPH. "While this is a travel-associated case, we know that prevention is key to reducing the risk of Zika virus infection."
Shah said county officials continue to work to protect residents from mosquito-related diseases, but individuals must take steps to keep from being bitten.
Shah urged residents to wear insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
A press conference took place to discuss the county’s response to Zika.