Lufkin health officials raise awareness on zika virus

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With temperatures increasing, mosquito populations also begin to rise.

Health officials are hoping to remind residents early on of the threat the Zika virus can be to people that are bit by an insect with the disease. 
Doctor Matthew Rowley at dermatology at Dermatology of East Texas said what you put on could possibly get you bit.

"Sometimes it's our natural smell. The way we give off fragrances and odors can occasionally effect that. It's what we bathe with, what we put into our laundry, and of course if we put perfume or cologne on," Rowley said.

But getting bit could can do more that cause you pain.

Health officials want to educate everyone on the outcome of the Zika virus.

"So the dangerous thing about zika is the effect it can have on pregnant women," said Kristina Childress at the Angelina Health District. "So pregnant women that are effected with the zika virus can give birth to babies with birth effects."

But the zika virus is not the only virus to worry about when getting bit by an infected Aedes species mosquito.

"This mosquito can spread chikungunya, dengue, and also yellow fever," Childress said.

That's why Rowley said its best to protect yourself because mosquitoes are also attracted to a certain blood type.

"There's some evidence to indicate that blood type O is more attractive to mosquitoes," said Rowley.

An Aedes species mosquito or zika mosquito can be pointed out.

Officials said they have spots along their abdomen.

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