The first-ever detection of an obscure but emerging virus in Texas has health officials concerned that it could signal the start of an outbreak in America.
Known as the Zika virus, the mosquito-spread illness afflicted a whopping 1.5 million people in Brazil in 2015.
The disease has also been suspected of causing an unprecedented rise in birth defects there.
Chillingly, the virus has been known about for decades, but only recently began to show both the propensity to spread so quickly as well as the possible connection to the previously rare birth defects.
The new developments surrounding the disease have overwhelmed and baffled experts.
As of now, there is no test to detect the virus in mosquitos nor any indication of how easily it spreads among the insects.
With a woman in Texas diagnosed with the virus this week, health officials worry that it is only a matter of time before it takes hold in the United States.
They point to the mosquito-friendly Gulf Coast as a particularly worrisome region which could become a Zika virus breeding ground should steps not be taken to tackle the disease.
Source: The Guardian