Confirmed cases of Zika virus cause concerns

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 06:10:26-05

The Florida Health Department is confirming two people in Miami-Dade County contracted the Zika Virus while out of the country.

While no cases have been reported in our area, health officials are warning travelers to take precautions if they are going to South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, all regions where outbreaks have been reported.

When Jennifer Reynaga packed her family up for a dream vacation to Peru, she never imagined there would be a travel alert.

"It's scary cause I don’t want to go back with anything or the kids," said Reynaga.

The mosquito spread virus is causing fever, rashes, joint pain among other symptoms. Even worse, it's known to cause birth defects in pregnancies.

"They don’t travel. For the little one it’s her first time and I don’t want her to have a horrible experience the first time out of the country," added Reynaga.

She and her family have been planning this trip for over a year. Outdoor activities are definitely on the itinerary.

Hiking, we’re going to go to Machu Picchu and then probably the beaches and stuff," said Reynaga.

All it takes is one bite from a mosquito carrying the virus to get sick. The shocking part is that an infected person could get bit by a mosquito here and that mosquito could pass the virus to someone else. It also spreads through sexual contact.

Renayga is afraid of her children getting infected and is taking extra precautions.

"The repellent, the clothing, I don’t know now. I don’t want to be outside," added Reynaga.

The best way to protect yourself if you're traveling to any of the regions where outbreaks have been reported is to wear repellant with DEET in it and wear long sleeves and pants.