With summer in full swing in Houston, the threat of a Zika outbreak is heating up once again

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo’s University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. The Aedes aegypti is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus. (AP)

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Summer heat, heavy rains and millions of mosquitoes make Houston a virtual hotbed for insect-borne diseases, including the dangerous Zika virus.

After an outbreak of the disease struck more than 5,000 Americans last year, authorities in the Houston area are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the disease this summer.

RELATED: Six Harris County Women Contracted Zika, CDC Issues Warnings

According to the World Health Organization, symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), pain in muscles and joints and headaches.

While these symptoms often last less than a week in normally healthy individuals, in addition to carrying their children, pregnant women carry the highest risk for complications from Zika.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 200 infants across the U.S. and its territories contracted birth defects when their mothers contracted the Zika virus, with nearly half of those infants dying in the womb.

Local officials continue to promote awareness of the disease for at-risk pregnant women through posters, TV spots and other advertising venues.

If a Zika outbreak were to occur in Houston, according to many experts, the city possesses some built-in cultural advantages over other regions:

Since most Houstonians avoid the outdoors during the hot, humid summer months, they are less likely to be exposed to the mosquitoes carrying the virus.

The city also boasts a relatively low population density, meaning outbreaks can be localized, contained and treated fairly quickly

Furthermore, Houston is dedicated to its mosquito control programs, with plans in place since 1965, after an encephalitis outbreak swept the city.

In 2002, the threat of West Nile Virus prompted an upgrade in many of the city’s mosquito control efforts.

RELATED: Zika is in the United States and it has infected more people than you realize

Last year, the city increased its mosquito control budget by more than one-third, much of which went to new high-tech mosquito traps.

What do you think?

Rosie O’Donnell tweeted out a link to a “Push Trump Off a Cliff” game, and conservatives aren’t happy about it

British Airways’ brilliant star-studded safety video is easily the most British thing we’ve ever seen