CDC names Jacksonville as at-risk for Zika virus outbreak

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida is one of the States most prone to Zika virus outbreaks, according to new data from NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The Zika virus has also been linked to birth defects. Only about 20 percent of those infected with the Zika virus show symptoms.

Experts said there’s only a one-in-100 chance that pregnant women infected during the first trimester will give birth to a baby with a birth defect.

“There could potentially be an outbreak a vast majority of people who are healthy they’re not going to have a lot of symptoms,” said Dr. Vandana Bhide, Internal Medicine.

New research indicates that 50 U.S. cities are at-risk for a potential Zika virus outbreak with cities in the southeast most at-risk.  Miami is listed at the city that is most at risk, and other at-risk cities in Florida include Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa and Tallahassee.

Dr. Bhide with Mayo Clinic’s Internal Medicine Unit says Jacksonville is an ideal place for Zika-carrying mosquitoes to thrive and spread the disease.

Experts studied mosquito breeding habits along with air travel in and out of affected countries.

Experts say an outbreak in America won’t be as pronounced as it is in the Caribbean because Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes cannot travel far and are usually only present in the day not the evening.