Locals health officials discuss Zika virus - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Locals health officials discuss Zika virus

More cases of the Zika virus are continuing to surface. Health officials say one case in Texas was spread by sexual contact.

The director of the Ector County Health Department isn't convinced the Zika virus should be classified as a sexually transmitted disease quite yet. Health officials over in Dallas say that is in fact how this specific case was spread.

"However, I'm one to believe that unless there's more proof of that and we verify that, as of right now, it's just one case. Right now, one case is not enough to really justify saying that it's a sexually transmitted disease," said Gino Solla, Director of the Ector County Health Department. 

The Zika virus is mainly transmitted through mosquitos, but this new case has health officials searching for answers.

"Is there a chance for the virus to get into semen or the actual canal of a woman to where it can be transmitted sexually into body fluids?" said Solla. 

Over in Florida, five counties are now under a health emergency. At least 12 cases have been confirmed there. Health officials say all of those cases belong to people who contracted the disease while traveling abroad. 

"Today diseases cross borders readily because we cross borders and bring them with us," said Solla. "I have not personally seen an outbreak or a large amount of cases of it in our area."

He says with being so close to the border, it's important to be proactive.

"Individuals should take precautions," said Solla. 

Health officials say most people infected with the Zika virus won't have any symptoms but there's concern of how Zika could spike a rise in birth defects.

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