Press Release

For Immediate Release | July 7, 2016

Kevin Nix, Sr. Director of Communications | (202) 431-5796 | knix@legacycommunityhealth.org

Amid Congressional Inaction, Legacy Confirms More Patients Testing Positive for Zika Virus

HOUSTON – Legacy Community Health, one of the nation’s largest community health centers, today announced three additional patients – all pregnant moms – testing positive for the mosquito-borne Zika virus.  The new travel-related diagnoses come as Congress, as it has for months, debates a funding measure to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“While Congress continues to play partisan games with public health, more pregnant patients have been infected with Zika,” said Katy Caldwell, CEO of Legacy Community Health. “I’m not sure how much louder the alarm bells need to ring for both parties to hurry up and reach a funding deal. Such legislative inaction is unconscionable, a clear sign of our broken politics. Texas is in the Zika crosshairs and needs this money before Congress goes on its August recess.”

The Centers for Disease Control definitively links the virus to microcephaly, or severe birth defects.

In March, Legacy saw its first pregnant patient who tested positive for the virus.

The agency has issued an advisory to its pregnant patients and those considering pregnancy not to travel down to the Central and South American countries where the virus is rampant. The health center is currently providing free Zika prevention packs that include insect repellant and condoms.

The CDC has noted that sexual transmission “might contribute to more illness than was anticipated when the outbreak was first recognized.”

Legacy Community Health, a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center, provides adult primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and maternity, HIV/AIDS care, dental, vision and behavioral health to more than 100,000 patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Legacy is a United Way of Greater Houston agency.