Health Officials Start Cleanup Efforts amid Possible Localized Zika Case
MISSION – A Hidalgo County city is taking a proactive approach to fight Zika as county health leaders wait to hear back about a possible localized case of the virus.
The city of McAllen sent samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after initial tests results came back inconclusive.
Local athletes said they’re also doing what they can to combat the virus. CrossFit coach Raul Montenegro trains others at The DEUCE in Mission. He said their athletes are from all walks of life.
“Anyone from elderly people to even firefighters and law enforcement,” he said. “We do weightlifting. We do a lot of conditioning and endurance training, and we also do a lot of gymnastics work.”
Montenegro said they try to keep doors and windows open to keep everyone cool since athletes can perspire during strenuous workouts.
“You like to have a good flow of air in here. You don’t want to get overheated. We make sure the fans are on at all times,” he said.
However, the CrossFit coach said mosquitoes can sometimes make their way into the building.
Mission health director Noel Barrera said the city of Mission wants to get rid of the disease-carrying mosquitoes.
“One of the things that we’re doing at this time with other departments in our department is picking up tires in the alleys, due to the fact that they can do mosquito breeding,” he said.
Barrera said they’re also targeting areas of the city for spraying.
“We do have ULV machines and basically what it is, they put out a mist and what happens is the droplet hits the mosquito and that’s when the mosquito dies,” he said.
The city of Mission will respond to any unattended tires within city limits. If you know where some are located, you’re asked to call Mission’s Public Work Department at 956-580-8780.
Barrera said the biggest tool in the fight against Zika is awareness. The city of Mission also posted tips on how to avoid mosquitoes on their website.