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The Brief: Texas Doctors and Women Await Zika Virus

This year's mosquito season is causing more fears than usual with some women wondering if they should delay pregnancy should the Zika virus spread this summer.

Epidemiologist Senior Jeffery Taylor of Austin/Travis Country Health and Human Services speaks to the media follwing one Zika virus case confirmation in Austin on February 4, 2016.

The Big Conversation

With the start of summer, it’s mosquito season in Texas, and both public health officials and local doctors are preparing for the Zika virus to come to the Gulf Coast.

The state health services department has recorded 46 cases of the disease — associated with birth defects in babies born to infected mothers — in Texas so far, although those people contracted it while traveling abroad or from a partner, as it also can be transmitted sexually. As the Tribune’s Madeline Conway writes, “experts say Zika will likely come to the Gulf Coast soon, since the mosquito that carries it, Aedes aegypti, is native to the area and could soon bite people infected from travel and spread it.”

In the meantime, women and their doctors are treading carefully, with some women wondering if they should delay pregnancy out of fear that they could come down with the virus if it does begin spreading in South Texas this summer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, released a guide for responding to local transmission of the virus. Mosquito control efforts in anticipation of spread of the virus focus on Texas and five other at-risk states, The New York Times reports

Trib Must Reads

More Texas Women Opting for Drug-Induced Abortions, by Aneri Pattani — Texas abortion providers say the percentage of women at their clinics opting for drug-induced abortions to terminate early pregnancies has climbed significantly since March — when the FDA updated its rules for the medication.

Analysis: To Every Wing, There is a Season, by Ross Ramsey — The primaries and runoffs are out of the way. The state conventions are over. The hot arguments that produced the state party platforms have cooled. And the power of the most partisan Republicans and Democrats is ebbing with the season.

Some Texas Lawmakers Have More Cash on Hand Than Trump, by Madlin Mekelburg and Ryan Murphy — Nearly a dozen-and-a-half Texans have more cash in the bank than Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.


(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Former mayor Julián Castro on the short list of potential Clinton running mates, San Antonio Express-News

Obama immigration victory could help Trump, Houston Chronicle

Abortion, race, immigration among last Supreme Court cases, The Associated Press

Politics Makes Abortion Training In Texas Difficult, Houston Public Media

Sosa: Farewell, my Grand Old PartySan Antonio Express-News

Greg Abbott makes unfounded claim about ISIS 'running through' U.S.-Mexico border, PolitiFact Texas

Children's well-being remains low in Texas, study finds, Houston Chronicle

Latino group finding ways to help candidates win, as Dallas community college race shows, The Dallas Morning News

If you don't like the strong dollar, blame cheap oil, Houston Chronicle

Court beefs up team researching Texas foster care overhaul, San Antonio Express-News

See how Dallas is trolling Cleveland, the city that beat Big D for the GOP convention, The Dallas Morning News

Federal judge: State must provide water without arsenic to Pack Unit inmates, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

Once the FDA relabeled, we saw an almost immediate change.”

 — Andrea Ferrigno, the president of Whole Woman’s Health, on an increase in drug-induced abortions

Today in TribTalk

My GED story, by Chandra Kring Villanueva — For Texas to remain a prosperous state, we must address the fact that we lead the nation when it comes to adults without a high school diploma or equivalency.

News From Home

•    While several high-profile cases have fueled a national debate on police shootings, there is no comprehensive data on such shootings in Texas. With reader support, we hope to introduce a new layer of transparency here. And you can help. Click here for more information on how to assist in making this project a reality.

•    We were already proud of “God and Governing,” our five-part documentary series on how Texas legislators’ faith drives their decision-making. Now we have a terrific honor to back it up.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

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