>> Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer in the US. And with it rising concerns about the Zika virus. With health officials warning the public to be vigilant.>> It's been one of the warmest winters on record. And so, what that means is that the numbers of mosquitoes that transmit Zika, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, are out in high numbers.
>> The biggest concern is for pregnant women. The mosquito-borne virus linked to a birth defect in newborns called microcephaly, marked by small heads and underdeveloped brains.>> Florida were the first local transmission occurred in the US, and Texas, two of the highest risk states, along with others along the Gulf Coast.
Tuscon, Arizona and areas of Southern California also on the list. Experts urging the use of bug spray and limited time outdoors. Northern states like New York also rolling out public awareness campaign.>> The message is focused on the importance of travel. And let me take a moment also to remind you of the risk of sexual transmission.
Because Zika can spread from one person to another through sexual contact.>> Zika first detected in Africa more than a half century ago. With the Brazil in particular suffering an alarming resurgence in 2015 with nearly 7000 cases. There have been more than 120 cases in the US so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and nearly 500 more in US territories.
Scientists are working on a vaccine but it's still in early stage testing.