Keep Zika Out: L.A. County Agencies and Humanitarian Organization to Host Community Training

Today, vector control districts, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Tzu Chi, an international humanitarian organization, announced a community workshop to “Keep Zika Out.”

The free event will be held on September 24, 2016 from 8 a.m. to noon, at B.O.C.A. (Dharma Seal Temple) at 3027 Del Mar Avenue, Rosemead, CA 91770.

“Keep Zika Out” will train residents and interfaith volunteers to prevent invasive Aedes mosquitoes from breeding in their homes and communities. After the morning workshop, volunteers will hit the streets and educate neighbors in the surrounding area.

To date, no local transmission of Zika virus has been reported in L.A. County. However, the Aedes mosquitoes that have the potential to transmit the virus is present in Los Angeles County.

“Everyone in L.A. County can help reduce the risk that Zika could spread here by ensuring mosquitoes don’t breed around their residences.  We encourage residents to drain standing water and toss unused containers in the trash so they don’t become places where mosquitoes can breed,” said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, Acting Director for the Acute Communicable Disease Control program of LA County Department of Public Health.  “Additionally, during travel to Zika-affected areas, people should avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent that contains an effective ingredient like DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and staying in places with screens or air conditioning to keep mosquitos out.”

Year-to-date, there has been more than 60 travel-related cases of Zika in L.A. County. In addition, there are more than 50 L.A. County cities and communities with invasive Aedes mosquitoes.

“Vector control agencies in LA County cannot do it alone,” said Truc Dever, General Manager for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. “One of the most important and effective ways residents can help us prevent Zika virus from spreading in L.A. is to tip and toss anything that can hold water.”

Preventative community outreach about the threat is an important part of the Health Department and vector control district’s Zika preparedness plan. The public health agencies’ partnership with Tzu Chi strengthens the commitment to prepare Los Angeles County for a potential outbreak.

 “Emergency preparedness is one of many ways Tzu Chi is helping residents,” said Executive Vice President of Tzu Chi, Debra Boudreaux. “Together, as a community, we can stand together to keep Zika out of our neighborhoods.”

About Tzu Chi:

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means "compassion and relief," is an international humanitarian organization with special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, the non-profit organization has four major missions: charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture. Tzu Chi also engages in international disaster relief, bone marrow donation, community volunteerism, and environmental protection. Tzu Chi has offices and chapters on five major continents and provides aid to more than 90 countries. To learn more about Tzu Chi and our disaster relief work in the USA and internationally, please visit: www.tzuchi.us

About Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.

About Vector Control:

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (SGVMVCD) and the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) are two of five vector control agencies that provide services and programs in Los Angeles County. Since 2011, vector control districts have been consistently working together to fight the invasive Aedes mosquitoes that have the potential to transmit Zika, dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever to people. For more information about SGVMVCD, visit www.sgvmosquito.org. For more information about GLACVCD, visit www.glacvcd.org