Southside health officials taking new step to help prevent mosquito, tick-borne disease

Free insect repellent, information handed out in Martinsville


MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Health officials in Southside are taking a new step to help educate people about the importance of protecting against mosquito and tick-borne diseases.

On Thursday, West Piedmont Health District employees handed out free insect repellent in Martinsville.

This was the first time the health district has had the budget to be able to do this.

 The district’s epidemiologist, Sharon Ortiz-Garcia, estimated around 80 people stopped by within the first couple hours of the event.

"People come by that have either done a drive through kind of situation and also have stopped at our booth here to get information and ask questions," Ortiz-Garcia said.

The health district and the Martinsville Police Department also have an ongoing joint door-to-door Zika awareness campaign.