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Despite Zika Cases In Texas, Dallas Has Low Risk For Virus This Summer

Mosquitos are active during the hot and humid summer months.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: What’s the risk of Zika virus affecting Dallas this summer?; after Marco Rubio quit, Ted Cruz continues as Donald Trump’s main competitor; you may have been to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Uptown bar; and more.

As of February, Texas has confirmed 13 cases of Zika virus, with three of these being confirmed in Dallas County. However, these cases have all originated abroad or have been transmitted through sexual activity. So the issue isn’t the mosquitos in the U.S. transmitting the disease — yet.

To date, Zika has been spread through a species of mosquito called Aedes aegypti. Vox reported: “US health officials are worried that Zika will come to infect the Asian tiger mosquito, a species of mosquito that has a much wider range in the United States than Aedes aegypti. If that were to happen, we could see a spiraling outbreak like the one that's occurring in Central and South America. In those regions, Zika has infected millions and is also believed to be fueling an uptick in a birth defect called microcephaly.”

This scenario is unlikely, but the number of mosquitos does increase with the hotter summer months, especially for cities near bodies of water. “Screened-in windows and air conditioning units are more common here than in those countries, and they keep mosquitoes out of our homes. Plus, the state that is most at risk, Florida, has lots of experience dealing with outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and chikungunya,” according to Vox.

Some cities are still more likely to be affected than others. Below is a map from The National Center for Atmospheric Research produced recently after analyzing the relative Zika risk of 50 U.S. cities. Read more. [Vox]

Credit The National Center for Atmospheric Research
The National Center for Atmospheric Research

  • Following Tuesday’s primaries, Ted Cruz is still hopeful, despite Trump’s big step toward the nomination. Although the Houston senator did not win four of the five states voting Tuesday night, he still gained delegates and shed one of his main competitors, Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign following a home-turf upset in Florida. The Texas Tribune reported: “Cruz’s campaign had viewed Rubio as its biggest obstacle to achieving a one-on-one matchup with Trump. Cruz wasted no time appealing to former Rubio supporters, telling them from the stage in Houston that he welcomes them “with open arms” to join the fight against Trump.” Read more. [The Texas Tribune]

  • A Fort Worth doctor is wondering if a derivative of marijuana could treat severe epilepsy in children. Last year, Texas legalized limited medical use of cannabidiol oil, which is derived from marijuana. Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth is undergoing trials to see if that compound can be used to treat children with a severe form of epilepsy. Dr. Scott Perry is leading that study, which involves 200 people. Listen to the full interview from Think. [Think]

  • A Fort Worth police officer remains in critical condition following Tuesday’s shootout with a father and son. Officer Matt Pearce, 36,  received three shots in the chest and one in the leg, The Dallas Morning News reported. Following the shootout, in which Ed Russell McIver, Sr., 43, was killed by officers, a massive manhunt for McIver, Jr., who policed said was armed, ensued, according to Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The 20-year-old gunman eluded police for several hours but was captured Tuesday evening. A Parker County sheriff’s department spokeswoman said the father had seven warrants for his arrest on charges including assault on a family member and assault on a family member with a weapon,” according to The

  • Have you dined at Jimmy Buffett, LeBron James or Gwyneth Paltrow’s restaurant? You may have without knowing it. Nine celebrities own bars or restaurants in North Texas. Jimmy Buffett’s Coyote Drive-In opened in Fort Worth in 2013. LeBron James’ Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza chain has several locations across D-FW. And Gwyneth Paltrow’s Uptown bar celebrated its anniversary last month. GuideLive said: “Gwyneth Paltrow first broke into the Dallas business scene with a pop-up clothing and housewares store in 2014, but apparently that was too short-lived. In February 2015, the actress opened Blo Blow Dry Bar on Knox Street in Uptown Dallas.” See GuideLive’s full list of celebrity-owned venues. [GuideLive]