The first case of locally - transmitted Zika virus in the United States has been confirmed by the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Dallas County Health and Human Services. The virus was acquired through sexual contact in Texas, Dallas County Health and Human Services said Tuesday afternoon. The patient has not yet been identified but DCHHS officials said s/he was infected after having sexual contact with an ill individual returning from Venezuela, a country where the virus is thought to be present. The officials added that they received confirmation of the infection from the CDC. "Dallas County Health and Human Services has received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the first Zika virus case acquired through sexual transmission in Dallas County in 2016," said a statement. "The patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from a country where Zika virus is present.” Meanwhile, Dallas County health officials said there was no sign of the virus being transmitted by mosquitoes in the region. Those who have the symptoms, including fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, as well as those who have had sexual contact with Zika patients, have been strongly advised to seek immediate medical care. “Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.” Although the symptoms of the virus are relatively mild, Zika is believed to be associated with a surge in cases of microcephaly, a devastating condition in which a baby is born with an abnormally small head and brain. It is an untreatable disease that may lead to permanent damage to the child's motor and cognitive development. According warnings by the World Health Organization, the virus is "spreading explosively" in South America, with three million to four million cases expected this year.