The top doctor at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention predicted Thursday that hundreds of thousands of people will contract the Zika virus in Puerto Rico this year, including "thousands" of pregnant women.
Dr. Tom Frieden briefed reporters after a trip to the island where he worked with Puerto Rican health officials to assess the situation.
He warned that Puerto Rico's rainy season is coming, which will lead to a higher number of mosquito-transmitted infections.
About 100 CDC staff members are on the ground in Puerto Rico, handing out repellent and condoms.
The latest news from around North Texas.
They're also testing pesticides and will install window screens at clinics and doctors offices.
The CDC director is asking Congress for money that he says would help prevent, treat and diagnose the Zika virus, which has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly and is expected to spread in the United States this spring.
Puerto Rican natives in North Texas are watching the situation back in their native country closely.
At the Adobo Café in Irving, residents follow the headlines and keep in contact with loved ones.
"It is really dangerous, the mosquito. We got mosquitoes the whole year, but that kind of mosquito, it's concerning," said café manager Edwin Martinez.