How to tell if your farm is infected with the Zika virus
As of Sunday morning, the first cases of Zika virus infection in the United States have been confirmed in a Texas farm bureau that grows corn and soybeans for cattle.
The first case was reported at the Austin, Texas, ranch of David Richardson, who farms with his wife, Michelle.
Richardson said he’s received two calls from concerned neighbors since news of the first case first broke Monday.
The ranch is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Austin.
The Agriculture Department says the first patient reported in Texas is a 25-year-old man who had the virus when he was infected on April 8 in a residence in Austin.
Richardson and other officials say there are no other confirmed cases in the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is transmitted via direct contact with an infected person’s saliva or blood.
The virus can also be spread through the air.
The Dallas County Health Department says it’s not clear if any of the confirmed cases are linked to Richardson’s ranch, but a local hospital has been notified of a case.
Richardson has not been charged.
Richardson says he hasn’t had a case of the virus since it was discovered in August, but has been trying to determine the virus’s spread to other farms and cattle.
Richardson’s wife, who works for the ranch, has said she’s been receiving calls from people who are worried about Richardson.
Richardson told ABC News that the virus “doesn’t hurt us,” but he worries about other farm owners and other cattle who are in the area who might be at risk.
Richardson is among dozens of farmers and ranchers who have reported receiving the virus.
In addition to Richardson, at least a dozen other Texas farms and rancheries have reported at least one case of Zika in recent days.
More than 5,300 cases of the Zika have been reported worldwide, and the virus has been linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.