Houston woman diagnosed with untreatable Zika virus

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HOUSTON, Texas (KXAN) — Health officials are warning people about an untreatable virus that has appeared in Texas.

A case of the Zika virus in Texas has been confirmed in Harris County, near Houston.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms include fever, rash, vomiting, headaches, conjunctivitis and joint pain that can last for several weeks.

Officials say the virus was found in a woman who had recently been to El Salvador.

Dr. Umair A. Shah with the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services said, “Fortunately we don’t have any evidence of Zika in our local mosquito population, but when somebody goes to another country, then certainly we want them to take the appropriate precautions.”

The Zika virus has existed for decades in Africa and Asia, but spread only in the last decade to Central and South America.

While there is no treatment, the virus is rarely deadly. It typically clears up within a week with rest and fluids. However, researchers are looking into a possible link between the virus and birth defects.

The best advice health officials have is to take precautions to prevent any mosquito bites.

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