Governor Abbott Hosts Zika Prevention Roundtable In Brownsville, TX

May 5, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

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