Feds Warn Pregnant Women to Stay Away from Brownsville, but What if You Live There?

Officials found five cases of the Zika virus in the south Texas city.

By Michael MarksDecember 17, 2016 4:02 pm|

On Wednesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to pregnant women: don’t go to Brownsville. In that single valley city alone, there have been five confirmed cases of the transmission of the Zika virus from local mosquitoes. The virus has been linked to birth defects like microcephaly, which causes a baby to be born with a smaller head.

Telling tourists to stay away is one thing. But what if you’re already in Brownsville? Isela Padilla is a biology teacher at Lopez Early College High School in Brownsville. And, she’s 32 weeks pregnant, expecting a baby girl named Alessi in February. Isela, welcome to the Texas Standard.

Isela Padilla is a biology teacher at Lopez Early College High School in Brownsville. She’s 32 weeks pregnant and expecting a baby girl named Alessi in February.

Padilla says seeing the federal warning was nerve-wracking.

“Especially at the beginning, I know that we didn’t’ have any active cases during the summer here in Brownsville,” she says. “But it’s definitely in the back of your head, even though most of the cases were in Miami and Florida.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How Padilla’s life has changed due to the dangers of Zika

– Padilla’s concerns about her pregnancy

– Whether she considered leaving Brownsville