Houston officials call for concentrated effort to combat Zika virus

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HOUSTON — Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials are calling for action to respond to the threat posed to our community by the Zika virus.

A press conference was held Monday to address concerns regarding environmental conditions that may be conducive to the breeding of Zika Virus carrying mosquitoes, such as household items (e.g. furniture, tires, appliances, grills) on the side of roads, in vacant lots, and yards. Officials discussed why household items such as buckets, cans, houseplants, grills are breeding sources for mosquitoes which should be secured so as not to become a means of spreading the Zika Virus. It also discussed the virus’ effect on pregnant women.

“Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico are already on the front lines of the Zika epidemic. We must provide sufficient Medicad resources for the children and pregnant women in Puerto Rico facing this crisis. Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to as serious birth defect of he brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant,” Jackson said in a released statement. “Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants with Zika virus before birth, such as absent or poorly developed brain structures, defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. There is no treatment or cure for those infected with Zika virus.”

City officials, along with other Federal, State, and Local government agencies are implementing plans to combat the virus, in addition to what is needed to meet objectives.

Jackson Lee is asking the leadership of both the House and the Senate to approve the President’s request of $1.9 billion to respond to the domestic and global outbreak of the Zika virus.