Zika virus numbers lower than in previous years

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2016 file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Brazil. The South American country declared an end to its public health emergency for the Zika virus on Thursday, May 11, 2017, 18 months after a surge in cases drew headlines around the world. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Zika Virus is still in the United States, but currently isn’t posing as much of a threat as it did in 2016.

Last week, a man in Texas was diagnosed with the disease raising the question of where it came from.

Experts say 99 percent of the cases reported in 2017 have been from traveling outside of the United States.

The other 1 percent is from sexual transmission.

The most at risk for the disease is unborn babies.

In 2016, there were over 5,000 cases with over 200 being transmitted through mosquito bites.

Experts say the main species of mosquito carrying the virus has not been as present in the United States as it was last year saying the biggest current threat is travel.

“Anyone traveling to those areas known to have zika virus epidemic to them need to protect themselves,” said Dr. John Morrow of the Pitt County Health Department. “Particularly from mosquito bites, and that’s the biggest risk, is when they’re traveling to those areas.”

Experts say when traveling preparation is key and can keep you at a lower risk for contracting the virus.

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