Officials rethink chance of Zika

Due to revisions in the Zika case definition, Cameron County health officials are reclassifying a travel-related case to a probable Zika virus disease, the first in Cameron County .

For all intents and purposes, the Cameron County Health Authority considers it a true case.

“We can’t say it definitely was because the rules at the time were different, but looking backwards — in my mind — means (the case) would’ve been Zika ,” said Dr. James W. Castillo, the health authority.

In December, a 57-year-old woman from Brownsville traveled to Chiapas and was around people she said had Zika or Dengue fever, and when she returned home in January, she began to develop symptoms.

The 57-year-old told her health care provider and a blood test was ordered. The problem, Castillo said, is that the two diseases ( Zika and Dengue fever) are nearly impossible to tell apart just from observing the antibodies.

“It’s very rare that (a blood test) only comes back positive for Zika. When it comes back positive for both, under the old rules, it sounds more like Dengue fever, because that’s more common,” Castillo said. “But Zika is spreading more, so under the new rules, it would probably be Zika , hence the probable case.”

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