The number of Zika virus cases is down but experts warn homeowners to keep up their guard

Posted at 2:59 AM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 07:02:26-04

The number of Zika cases may be winding down, but experts at USF say the fight isn't over. They say the reason for the decline is most likely because of the massive effort to kill mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus last year.

It prepared officials to put up an even bigger fight this year ahead of rainy season. Their effort may also be helping cases of other mosquito born illnesses.

Drew Davis was diagnosed with West Nile Virus in July. He is feeling better now, but a month ago he knew something wasn't right.

"When the sun gets in your eye and it's almost like it's blinding you and it's like there's a flash. I thought what the heck is going on," Davis said.

He began feeling pain three days later.  Davis was sent to a specialist for numerous tests but doctors didn't know what was wrong. A few days after that he rushed to the hospital.

"Pressure was pounding on my eye and it just would not stop," said Davis.

He had a spinal tap done. The results came back and he was diagnosed with West Nile Virus.

"I was in the office with my mom and we looked over at each other and our mouth's just dropped," said Davis. "Like, wait, what? Did he really just say that?"

So far in 2017, experts at USF say only one other person has been diagnosed with West Nile.

The number of Zika cases is down, too. In 2016, 46 people in Hillsborough County were diagnosed with Zika, all were travel-related.

There have been only four Zika cases in the county this year. Experts at USF say none of those people are pregnant.

Davis says his experience with West Nile was awful. He urges people to keep protecting themselves with bug spray, long sleeves and pants. And if you are pregnant, don't travel to Zika prone areas.

The Florida Department of Health lists Zika cases county-by-county. Click HERE to see the state's the most recent numbers.