Caution for travelers, Zika warnings in Texas, Florida, Arizona, - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Caution for travelers, Zika warnings in Texas, Florida, Arizona, California

(Source: CBS News) (Source: CBS News)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

According to CBS News, the temperatures are rising, and so are worries about the Zika virus.

In Dallas, health officials are warning everyone to be vigilant.

"We don't want residents to be relaxed about mosquito season," said Zac Thompson, the Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Texas and Florida are two of the highest risk states where health experts say we could see outbreaks of the mosquito-borne virus this summer.

The gulf coast states, Tuscon, Ari. and areas of southern California are also on the list.

"It's been one of the warmest winters on record and so what that means is the numbers of mosquitoes that transmit ZIka, the aedes agypti mosquitoes, are out in high numbers," said Dr. Peter Hotez, who is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor School of Medicine.

The biggest concern is for pregnant women. Experts are urging they take precautions, using insect repellant and limiting time outdoors to avoid mosquito bites.

A recent study shows local transmission of ZIka began in Florida months before it was picked up.

Dr. Peter Hotez says health departments will need to detect cases sooner.

"By active surveillance I mean actively looking for Zika virus among people with a fever and a rash, who go to community health centers or emergency rooms or clinics. And actively testing them for Zika," said Dr. Hotez.

Health officials are also rolling out Zika public awareness campaigns in the coming weeks.

Scientists are working on a vaccine, but it's still in the early stages of testing.

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