Martinsville PD and health department team up for zika awareness campaign

(Photo: MGN)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- 119 Zika cases reported in the US in the last 18 months, three of them, in Virginia. The Martinsville Police Department and Health Department want to make sure zero cases show up in their city.

Once a week, public health volunteers, medical reserve core personnel, and the city of Martinsville Police Department go to about 100 houses a day for this public health campaign.

All an effort to make their city, a safer one. The departments hand out door hangers with information about the Zika Virus and preventive measures residents can take to prevent the virus.

Dr. Jody Hershey is the Health Director for the District, "Zika has become a problem through out the United States and also world wide," said Dr. Hershey.

Dr. Hershey said there are no confirmed cases of the Zika Virus in Martinsville, and he wants to make sure it stays that way.

"We are trying to prevent Zika from getting into the area and being transmitted locally," said Dr. Hershey.

"These mosquitoes breed in and around somebody's home," explained Dr. Hershey.

He said the mosquitoes are in shallow water, like flower pots, and gutters.

Dr. Hershey recommends emptying all of these shallow water areas.

The chief of police in the City of Martinsville, Chief Sean Dunn said the campaign takes it one step further --A health initiative combined with community policing.

"Law enforcement just isn't about arrest and summons it's about building strong relationships with citizens and doing our very best to improve the overall health of our community," explained Chief Dunn.

Sergeant Ben Peters is an officer in the Department helping out with the Zika Awareness Campaign.

"We have a strong working relationship and it builds that whole community trust," said Sergeant Peters.

"So many opportunities for us to create positive interactions with our citizens," said Dunn.

For more information on what YOU can do to prevent the Zika Virus, click here.

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