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Texas refutes Jamaica's claim that ZIKV case originated there

Published:Tuesday | February 2, 2016 | 9:16 AM

United States authorities are allegedly denying reports by the Jamaican government that the Zika virus (ZIKV) case confirmed here recently originated in the state of Texas.

Last week, Jamaica's health ministry released a statement saying a four-year-old child from Portmore, St Catherine began showing symptoms of ZIKV after returning to the island from Texas.

However, the largest daily newspaper in the capital of Texas, the Houston Chronicle, and US Internet media company, BuzzFeed, say Texas health authorities are refuting the report.

A representative from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Carrie Williams has been reported as saying the department's information suggests that the infection likely occurred in Jamaica.

She added that the report from Jamaica does not raise a concern of a local transmission in Texas.

The Houston Chronicle also said Jamaican officials clarified yesterday that they had no evidence that the boy was infected while in Texas.

Texas has had a number of travelers diagnosed with the Zika virus after returning from Latin America, but has yet to have a confirmed local transmission.

If it is confirmed that the child was infected in Jamaica, it would mean that he virus linked to an outbreak of severe birth defects in Brazil is being spread by mosquitoes in Jamaica.