County and city leaders gather for annual Zika response conference

Local News

MCALLEN, Texas – Hidalgo County is one of nine Texas counties identified as a higher risk of spreading Zika. County leaders joining McAllen city leaders to host the third annual State of Texas Active Response to Zika Conference (STARZ III).

Zika is a year-round issue for the Rio Grande Valley. Hidalgo County leaders joining the city of McAllen to welcome binational partners from Tamaulipas to discuss and learn more about Zika and other vector-borne diseases.

Xochitl Mora, Director of Communication – City of McAllen, “As well as to get this message out, as we know disease and emergencies knows no border and that is important that we continue to communicate with each other on best practices learned and on what we will do in the future.”

Conference organizers are focusing on cutting edge technologies and research about zika on both sides of the border.

Eddie Olivarez, Hidalgo County Public Health Director, “Share that information with us and come up with a comprehensive plan for the near future, what we call our border health council, what we call our covinas.”

County leaders adding Hidalgo County has been on the forefront of emergency preparedness including public health. The county judge says keeping the public informed as well as the counties vector control task force they will continue to “fight the bite”.

Richard Cortez, County Judge, “We continue to work closely with our local cities and border health officials on both sides of the border to promote awareness and maximize our efforts to deter the Zika virus.”

County leaders say peak season for Zika in the Valley is October through December.

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