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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott met Wednesday with Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt to receive an update on Texas’ Zika Preparedness and Response Plan and discuss the next steps in combatting the virus. During the meeting, Governor Abbott was briefed on the Response Plan, DSHS’ coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response’s involvement in the State’s efforts.
“The State of Texas is continuing to work with both local and federal partners to implement our Zika Response Plan,” said Governor Abbott. “I would like to thank Commissioner Hellerstedt for coordinating this joint effort to ensure that Texas is prepared for any and all cases of local transmission. Texas remains at the forefront in the nationwide effort to combat the Zika virus.”
Governor Abbott and Commissioner Hellerstedt discussed the following topics during the meeting:
- Delaying and preventing local transmission of Zika in Texas
- Protecting pregnant women and their unborn children from birth defects linked to Zika
- Details of Texas’ Zika Preparedness and Response Plan, including communication, education, enhanced testing capabilities and disease surveillance
On July 1, 2016, the CDC visited DSHS headquarters to review Texas’ Zika Preparedness and Response Plan.