Warm weather welcomes mosquitoes, possible Zika concerns

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COLUMBIA - As the weather starts to warm up, summer's most infamous pest comes back to annoy and possibly infect.

Mosquitoes have received increased attention lately, due to the spread of the Zika virus

The virus is spread via mosquitoes, blood and other bodily fluids. Zika can cause mild symptoms for most people but can lead to a serious birth defect if pregnant women contract the virus.

The CDC has recently said two species of mosquitoes that carry the virus are usually present in Missouri and a number of other states. 

The CDC said no mosquito-borne Zika virus cases have been reported in Missouri, or the United States, but there has been multiple travel-associated cases. Missouri itself has seen four reported victims of the virus.

It has also been noted that mosquitoes seem to spread the virus quicker as the temperature rises higher and higher.

The CDC recommends people wear sleeves and long pants, use an EPA registered bug repellent, treat clothes with permethrin and use mosquito netting when necessary to avoid being bitten by the insects.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services has a page dedicated to Zika on its website to answer questions residents may have as outdoor activity increases.

Last year, Columbia started regular mosquito spraying near the beginning of June.