EL CENTRO, Calif. – The Imperial County Public Health Department will be holding a Zika town hall meeting Thursday night, open to public. Members of the community are encouraged to submit questions to be addressed at the meeting.
Health officials in Imperial County want to make sure residents understand how the Zika virus spreads and what they can do to protect themselves.
Chris Herring, EMS Manager of the Public Health Department advises,
“We’re hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the Zika virus and the aedes aegypti species of mosquitoes. We’re really looking to answer the questions that our community still has regarding the virus or mosquitoes. We want to find out where we have some gaps in our communication strategy so we can better direct our messaging so we can get the public the info. That they want.”
Zika is a viral disease that typically causes fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
Herring adds, “The aedes aegypti is a species of mosquito that is found in imperial county. We haven’t found the virus in either mosquito or the human population.”
But pregnant women and women who may become pregnant are advised to be especially careful because Zika during pregnancy can cause serious brain and birth defects.
The California Department of Public Health released a newsletter in may telling people to take caution while traveling. If traveling to areas known to have Zika virus, use these tips to avoid mosquito bites:
-Use insect repellents containing deet, oil of lemon eucalyptus
or para-menthane-diol for long-lasting protection.
-Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
-Use air conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
-Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside by emptying standing water from
containers, such as flower pots and buckets.
Public health officials are encouraging people to submit their questions prior to the meeting so they can address most of the communities concerns. You can submit your questions by email, telephone or Facebook. They meeting starts at 6 o’clock and Spanish interpretation will be provided.
Use contact information below to submit your questions for the Zika Town Hall meeting: