Blues on the Green kicks off amid Zika concerns

Zilker Park (KXAN)
Zilker Park (KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hundreds of people will congregate at Zilker Park for the annual Blues on the Green festival, kicking off Wednesday night.

Masses of people bring blankets and chairs each year to kick back and enjoy some good local music. However, the threat of Zika virus is fresh on the minds of many wondering if they should be concerned.

Blues-on-GreenHealth officials expect an outbreak of Zika somewhere in Texas, carried by local mosquitoes. Right now, there are 36 confirmed cases of Zika in Texas; one of them in Williamson, and two in Travis County.

Doctor Phil Huang with the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services says they are working to stay on top of it by sending mosquito collection samples to the state for testing. Huang told KXAN, spraying for the mosquitoes can help, but it’s not a one size fits all defense. Instead, the prevention methods are centered around using other resources in the city.

“We’ve been working with multiple city departments, actually code compliance, water shed protection, resource recovery, even Austin Waster, Austin Energy have the meter readers,” said Dr. Huang. “You know, we talked to them about looking for places where standing water collects around houses, try to get rid of old tires and then draining the water, things like that.”

Steps to take to protect yourself at Blues on the Green: 

  • Wear long sleeves
  • Pants
  • Use inset repellent

If you have concerns with the mosquitoes in your area you can call 311.

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