HOUSTON (KTRK) --It's no surprise that the threat of Zika coming to our area has been on the minds of many Houstonians. But in order to protect you and your loved ones, you need to be proactive.
Just a few simple steps you can do around your home can help.
And watch out for the symptoms of the virus.
"Fever, rash, red eyes or pink eye," according to physician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, Dr. Mark W. Kline.
As the threat of Zika hits closer to home, medical professionals are aware of the risks.
"What concerns us most is the pregnant woman that becomes infected with Zika can transmit the virus to her fetus or baby," Dr. Kline said.
Besides human transmission, it can be spread through mosquitoes as well. So to help vulnerable communities fight the risk, Texas Children's Hospital partnered with HEB to provide families with the tools needed to stay safe.
"We're providing 50,000 free kits including cans of insecticide, duct tape and an informational brochure to give individuals what they need to protect their families," said Winell Herron with HEB.
Each kit contains a can of mosquito spray that contains Deet. If you don't have air conditioning, or your AC is broken, you may rely on open windows to stay cool. Experts advise to inspect those screens for any rips or holes.
Dr. Kline said to repair any damaged screens by patching them with duct tape.
Depending on recent rainfall or lawn watering, you should look around your yard for anything that might contain standing water. Those areas of pooling water should be spilled out.
It's something Maria Rodas now understands to keep her family safe. "I learned that it takes a little bit of water to create breeding so that gives me the idea to check my house and make sure nothing else is going on," Rodas said.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN RECEIVING A ZIKA KIT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
The 50,000 free bags will be distributed to patients of the following Texas Children's Pediatrics Community Cares sites where families who otherwise would seek care from emergency centers, or possibly go without care due to low family incomes and/or lack of health insurance, benefit from access to trusted, high-quality pediatric medical services. These sites are able to provide children something no clinic or emergency center can offer: consistent, pediatric health care tailored to their needs.
Texas Children's Pediatrics Gulfgate
Texas Children's Pediatrics Corinthian Pointe
Texas Children's Pediatrics Cullen
Texas Children's Pediatrics Gulfton
Texas Children's Pediatrics Ripley House
Texas Children's Pediatrics Kingsland
The bags will also be available to patients at the Centers for Children and Women, two patient and family-centered medical homes that provide Texas Children's Health Plan members the highest quality community-based health care, education and advocacy in a convenient setting with extended hours.
The Center for Children and Women in Greenspoint
The Center for Children and Women in Southwest Houston
Members of the community who are not patients of these locations can also pick up a free bag while supplies last at any of the following H-E-B locations:
H-E-B Gulfgate at 3111 Woodridge
H-E-B Kempwood and Gessner at 10251 Kempwood
H-E-B Beechnut at 10100 Beechnut
For more information, visit texaschildrens.org/zika