There are now more than 50 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. although many of the cases are located in just two states: Texas and Florida.
These states have something in common: a warm climate. Experts fear states along the Gulf Coast could be especially at risk because of that.
The virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in newborns in Brazil, prompted Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency in five counties.
The declaration basically allows the state to stock up on tests that would help doctors diagnose the virus more quickly. It also instructs counties to spray for mosquitoes.
The same is true in Texas, for the most part. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, nine people were reportedly infected while traveling abroad and a 10th contracted the disease through sexual contact with an infected person. Again, no infected mosquitoes.
Although seven cases have been confirmed in one Texas county alone, Gov. Greg Abbott hasn’t issued any emergency declarations.
But Abbott did announce he has created a Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response — a step some say is important, especially in the months to come. (Video via KVUE)
“As we head toward the springtime, if we have a lot of people infected with Zika, either because they’re imported cases or sexually acquired cases, if you will, that may trigger the mosquitoes to get infected with the virus and start that transmission cycle,” Dr. Jeffrey Kahn told KXAS.
This video includes images from Getty Images.
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