What you need to know about the Zika virus

Posted at 4:49 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 16:49:07-05

Florida just declared a health emergency in four counties because of the Zika virus.

Hillsborough County has reported two cases. Those people got the virus outside of the state and then brought it back.

In total, there are nine cases in Florida.

With so many questions we are fact-checking how the virus spreads, and if you’re at risk.

Buzz-off mosquito owner Tom Stephen’s customers worry about the blood sucking bugs spreading viruses.

He typically sees mosquitoes that transmit Chikungunya and Dengue.

In fact, that same variety of mosquito transmits Zika.  

While no one has gotten the virus from a mosquito in the U.S., it’s a fact that it could still happen.

Twelve states are reporting people who caught the virus while traveling, and that number could grow.

Just recently the CDC confirmed Texas could have the first case in the U.S. of someone contracting Zika from sexual contact.

So while you can get it that way, it's a fact the virus is not transmitted through other forms of contact like saliva.

Also a fact: The biggest threat is to pregnant women, who are being urged not to travel.

As for everyone else, one in five people infected show symptoms that are mild, like fever, rash or joint pain.

But with no vaccine or medicine to treat Zika, the key is prevention.

“You need long sleeve shirts, long pants and put some deet or other repellant on like cedar oil or eucalyptus oil,” Stephen said.

Also, drain and cover any standing water.

With more cases likely to pop-up, USF is studying Zika and one company is working on a vaccine.