Metropolitan Ministries Helping Homeless Community Avoid Zika Virus  

Media Advisory

FOR RELEASE: June 27, 2016

CONTACT: Shawn LaFata
Associate Director of Communications
Phone: Office- 813.209.1264, Cell- 813.390.7671

WHEN: Beginning Monday, June 27 (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) 

WHERE: Metropolitan Ministries’ Tampa Outreach Center, 2002 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602
             Metropolitan Ministries’ Pasco Outreach Center, 3214 US Highway 19 N. Holiday, FL 34691

DETAILS: With hundreds of families in Tampa Bay living in their cars, tents and in the woods, many homeless in the area are dealing with some of the most extreme conditions that summertime in Florida has to offer. Added to that list this year is the potential for the spread of the Zika virus. 

Instead of waiting for the virus to be detected in the local mosquito population, Metropolitan Ministries is taking on the effort to proactively combat the potential spread among the homeless community. The Ministries’ Outreach Centers in Tampa and Holiday are offering Zika Virus Kits, based on the need of each requesting individual or family.  

Metropolitan Ministries’ Zika Virus kit includes…
Mosquito spray
Mosquito nets
Standing water tablet
Permethrin spray, which is sprayed on clothes by the Ministries to provide as many as six weeks of protection 

Governor Rick Scott announced on June 24 that he will use his emergency executive authority to allocate $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response in Florida. The Tampa Bay area has 15 reported cases of the Zika virus (5 in Hillsborough County, 5 in Pinellas, 3 in Pasco, 1 in Manatee, 1 in Sarasota).  

Spread mainly by mosquitos, the Zika virus causes red eyes, joint pain, fever and rash. Most cases of the virus do not cause hospitalization and run their course within a week to 10 days. The virus, however, is responsible for causing severe defects in unborn children, including microcephaly, which leaves babies with abnormally small heads and often with brains that do not develop properly.

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