FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 30, 2017
Kevin Nix | (202) 431 5796 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Legacy Community Health Issues Zika Health Advisory Ahead of Mosquito Season
HOUSTON – Legacy Community Health, Texas’ largest community health center, today issued a health advisory to its pregnant patients urging them to protect themselves from the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The advisory is a precautionary measure only and lasts through October. Last year, more than 300 people in Texas, including over 70 in Harris County, tested positive for the virus, which causes severe birth defects.
“No one yet knows if Zika is coming to Houston this year, but the best course of action is to take precautions now,” said Dr. Ann Barnes, Legacy’s chief medical officer. “Our health advisory is a reminder for pregnant women, or those considering pregnancy, to wear insect repellant with DEET when they go outside. People with sex partners who have traveled to a Zika-affected region are also at risk, so wearing condoms during sex is essential.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises pregnant woman to “consider postponing” travel to Brownsville, Texas, where there has been local transmission of the virus. Areas with Zika concerns include large parts of Latin America.
In 2017, nine cases have been reported statewide, according the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Zika symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. The best prevention methods are avoiding mosquito bites by using insect repellant, wearing additional clothing, staying in air-conditioned spaces, and using condoms during sex.
Legacy Community Health is a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides comprehensive care to over 125,000 patients regardless of their ability to pay. The agency, a United Way of Greater Houston agency, provides adult primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and maternity, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS care, dental and vision.