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Lower Valley Health Officials Educating Public About Zika

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BROWNSVILLE – Health officials said they’re doing all they can to educate the public about the Zika virus.

Cameron County Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo said the Rio Grande Valley can be threatened by Zika year round given its warm and humid climate.

The first locally transmitted case in Cameron County was confirmed in November 2016. Although there has been no recent threat of a Zika outbreak, health officials have seen a decline in the number of people getting tested for it.

Guajardo said pregnant women should continue to request the screening.

Veronica Ramirez-Garcia, a Cameron County health educator, said it doesn’t take a downpour or extreme heat to create a habitat for mosquitoes.

“Surprisingly enough, with as much education as we have done, there’s still a lot of people that don’t know,” she said. “So, there’s a lot of misinformation and I think if it hasn’t personally affected them, it gets them on the side burner.”

A Zika Awareness Day event will be held tomorrow from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Linear Park in Brownsville. There will be free screening and prevention kits available. 

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