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Public Safety

State of Texas
Texas Governor's Office
News Release
Friday, May 05, 2017

Governor Abbott Hosts Zika Prevention Roundtable In Brownsville, TX

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt today hosted a Zika prevention roundtable with community leaders and health officials from Cameron and Hidalgo Counties. During the discussion, the Governor discussed collaboration with federal and local partners to ensure the most effective response to travel-related & local Zika transmission in Texas. The roundtable follows a letter sent by Governor Abbott and Dr. John Hellerstedt yesterday to county judges and mayors across Texas regarding Zika prevention. 


"As we prepare to enter the height of mosquito season in Texas, we are doing everything we can to help prepare the state to combat the Zika virus," said Governor Abbott. "Because the Zika virus has the potential to have a serious impact on Texans and their families, it’s important for state and local officials to start engaging in prevention efforts immediately. That is why I and Dr. Hellerstedt are calling on our local partners to take action to ensure the most effective response to all travel-related & local transmission of Zika in Texas."


Participants at today’s roundtable included: 


John Hellerstedt, MD, Commissioner, DSHS


Eddie Trevino, Jr, County Judge, Cameron County


David A. Garcia, County Administrator, Cameron County


Esmeralda Guajardo, Health Administrator, Cameron County


Dr. James W. Castillo II, Health Authority, Cameron County


Tom Hushen, Emergency Management Coordinator, Cameron County


Dr. Guy Bailey, President, UTRGV


Dr. Christopher Vitek, Associate Professor of Medical Entomology, UTRGV


Dr. John Thomas, Assistant Professor of Virology, UTRGV


Michael Lopez, Assistant City Manager, City of Brownsville


Arturo Rodriguez, Health Director, City of Brownsville


Chris Boswell, Mayor, City of Harlingen


Daniel Serna, City Manager, City of Harlingen


Josue Ramirez, Health Director, City of Harlingen


Celeste Sanchez, Mayor, San Benito


Antonio Gonzales, Mayor Pro-Tem, San Benito


Esteban Rodriguez, Commissioner, City of Benito


Michael Galvan, Police Chief, San Benito


Gustavo Olivares, Mayor, City of Rio Hondo


Victor Baldovinos, Health Director, South Padre Island


Eduardo Olivarez, Chief Executive Officer, Hidalgo County Health and Human Services


Dr. Esperanza Zendejas, Superintendent, Brownsville ISD


Dr. Art Cavazos, Superintendent Harlingen CISD


Gonzalo Salazar, Superintendent, Los Frenos ISD


Dr. Lisa Garcia, Superintendent, Port Isabel CISD


For additional information on actions Texas is taking against the Zika virus as well as materials, guidance and prevention tips please visit

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