CDC/James Gathany

Here Are The Regions That Will Be Affected When Zika Virus Hits The US

After spreading throughout Central and South America, the Zika virus is making its way to US soil, officials warn.

Over 250 Americans have been treated for the mosquito-born disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but in each case, infection occurred while the patient was abroad.

So far, there have been no known cases of a patient contracting the Zika virus within the United States.

But that is all likely to change, experts believe, as spring fades into summer, bringing with it the hot and humid weather in which mosquitos thrive.

Researchers recently published their predictions in journal PLOS Currents: Outbreaks, mapping the virus's expected arrival and eventual spread throughout the US.

The simulation shows Zika arriving first in Southern Florida and Texas and slowly making its way through the country, infecting cities as far north as New York City by August.

Though only a simulation, it's interesting to see how quickly the virus could potentially spread throughout the states.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect ourselves, from wearing bug spray, to eliminating the accumulation of stagnant water (where possible), to avoiding travel to regions in which the virus is known to be active.

See a list of the cities believed to be at risk of infection and check out the researchers' maps, predictions and simulations over at PLOS Currents: Outbreaks.

Citations: Here's Which Cities Will Be Affected When Zika Virus Hits the U.S. (Cosmopolitan)