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Rep.Guerra, Bobby

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Rep. Guerra visits UTRGV Zika Research Lab 
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by: Rep. Guerra, Bobby

McAllen, TX - State Representative R.D. 'Bobby' Guerra met on Tuesday with University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley faculty members and took a tour of the university research facility where they are currently studying, monitoring, and surveying vector-borne diseases.

Following recent flooding in the area, the Rio Grande Valley now faces a major public health concern with the mosquito population rapidly growing, which significantly increases the risk of a potential outbreak of certain vector-borne diseases, such as the Zika virus.

In the wake of the Zika outbreak in 2016, UTRGV joined a multi-institutional consortium called the Western Gulf Center for Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases, which focuses on Zika research and monitoring and is funded by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). UTRGV is on the frontline of researching the Zika virus that can have a direct impact on the RGV due to this region's ideal climate for mosquito breeding.

Dr. John Thomas & Dr. Christopher Vitek, UTRGV biology department faculty members, are leading the lab in research and monitoring, which includes mosquito testing, hatching, and identification. They are working to gain insight into vector-borne diseases and testing out innovative solutions to address a potential outbreak.

"Our region faces a high-risk of the spread of communicable diseases, such as Zika. That is why last session I passed HB 3576 to provide more resources to aid the Texas Department of State Health Services in tracking, monitoring, and preventing the spread of the Zika virus," Rep. Guerra stated.

"I am proud of the great work being done at UTRGV in response to this major threat to the public health of our community," he concluded.

Contact: Justin Cantu

Contact Info


Capitol Address:
District Address:

Room GN.7

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0578

(512) 463-1482 Fax

10213 North 10th St. Suite B

McAllen, Texas 78504

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956-292-0407 line 1

956-292-0313 line 2 (roll over #)

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