Athird Houston resident has been confirmed to have contracted the Zika virus while traveling to Latin America.
The virus, which can cause the rare birth defect microcephaly, has caused an epidemic in Brazil that officials fear could spread to the US, according to ABC 13.
“We have a lot of people from Central America or South America who visit us or live here and visit them, so we expect to see more cases in the next few weeks because of a lot of people who traveled at Christmas who were likely infected,” said Houston Health Department representative Kathy Barton in the ABC 13 story.
Accroding to CNN, the virus is carried by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries West Nile Virus. It can cause microcephaly, which means that babies are born with abnormally small heads.
Officials in Brazil reported some 4,000 cases in babies in 2015 after just 147 in 2014. The outbreak could not have come at a worse time for Brazil, which is due to host both the World Cup and the Summer Olympics later this year.
The country’s government has deployed more than 220,000 troops throughout the country to exterminate the insects and destroy their potential nesting sites, according to CNN.