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El Paso County Commissioners updated on Zika prevention efforts

County Commissioners Monday heard from the El Paso Department of Public Health about its Zika virus prevention program, ‘Zika Zero.’

“We do not want Zika in El Paso or in the United States, though it is here already,” said Robert Resendes, director of the health department.

While the immediate affects of the virus are rarely serious, Resendes said it was the long term impacts on pregnancy that had serious public health concerns.

“If I was to only be allowed one slide for my presentation today, this would be it,” Resendes said while referring to a picture of a baby with microcephalic birth defects.

“Many of these babies don’t make it to birth because the deformities are so bad they die in utero, before they’re born,” Resendes said.

The public health director warned commissioners that without prevention like vector control and public awareness and education, it could become a big issue for the area.

“This type of baby can be devastating to a family, to a school district, a community, and this is something we do not want to see,” Resendes said.

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