Preparing for Zika in Texas

This year more than 100 Texans have become infected with Zika, a virus that can cause severe deformities in unborn babies, and there’s concern that number could rise exponentially. What should young couples, pregnant or considering pregnancy, do?  How are public officials monitoring the mosquito population that transmits Zika? How would Texas respond to an outbreak, and what can we personally do to protect our families and communities?

On this page you'll find a series of news reports and community conversations that seek to educate the public about how we’re “Preparing for Zika in Texas.”

    Just below you'll find facts about Zika, resources, news reports and a map of Zika In Texas. Hover over each county to see how many cases have been reported so far.

    Zika FAQs

    What is Zika?

    Where did Zika come from?

    How is Zika spread?

    How will I know if I’m infected?

    Is there a treatment or a vaccine?

    Is the South Texas blood supply being tested for Zika?

    What can South Texans do to protect themselves from Zika?

    I’m pregnant. What should I do to protect myself and my baby?

    I’m planning on getting pregnant. Do I need to postpone having a baby?

    Are there local or state resources I can use to help educate and protect myself and my family?

    What type of mosquito spreads Zika?

    Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

    ***Updated at 4:00 p.m.

    The first documented locally-acquired case of Zika in the continental U.S this year has been detected in Hidalgo County, at the southern tip of Texas. There's no indication this is the start of a large scale outbreak.

    Shelley Kofler / Texas Public Radio

    Mosquitoes aren’t just pests. They are health threats, too.

    With the possibility of the mosquito-spread Zika virus and other diseases hovering over South Texas, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is giving away free mosquito prevention tools.


    Mosquito dunks to kill larvae in standing water and mosquito repellents are being given away on a first come, first served basis at 14 clinics around the city. 

    Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

    Texas health officials say we’re better prepared this year than last to protect against the Zika virus and the mosquitos that spread it, but additional federal money would help. 

    Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

    Mosquito season is upon us, made more concerning this year by the spread of the Zika virus to the Rio Grande Valley. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is fighting the battle against mosquitoes on many fronts.

    Trucks that send out fogs of insecticides at night. Backpack sprayers where chemicals are placed precisely where mosquitoes breed. These are some of the tactics employed by vector control.

    Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

    The Zika virus continues to make headlines after it crept into the U.S., first in Florida and then here in Texas in the city of Brownsville. The mosquito-borne virus can cause devastating birth defects. Now the March of Dimes is making a big push to educate people as the spring mosquito season approaches.

    Texas Public Radio's Bioscience-Medicine reporter, Wendy Rigby, talked to San Antonio pediatrician Dr. Lawrence O’Brien. Here is a transcript of the interview.