This week (12/14/16) the CDC issued a travel alert for Brownsville & Cameron County, TX. Since the first Zika case in this area was documented on the last week in November, additional Zika virus cases been reported in 4 people and the Zika is present in the mosquito population. The degree of risk to pregnant women living in Brownsville is unknown and precautions against mosquito bites including use of repellents are advised. Contrary to misinformation on the internet, there is NO documented effect of mosquito repellents such as DEET on fetal development. Zika carries a high and documented risk of adverse effects on fetal development. The medical consensus: Use mosquito repellents.
The CDC travel alert advises pregnant women who live outside of Brownsville to avoid travel to the area. Brownsville is at the southern tip of Texas near the mouth of the Rio Grande. The mosquito thrives in warm summer weather (above 25C). Cold temperatures can end a Aedes aegypti season. Until that happens, residents of the area should take precautions including steps to remove mosquito breeding sites close to their residence. This especially applies to discarded tires which are prime breeding sites.