University of Houston Law Center Logo

University of Houston Law Center workshop to explore preparations for control of Zika virus

Health, government officials will share information and coordinate efforts to limit exposure.


April 4, 2016 – Concerns over confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Houston have prompted the Health Law & Policy Institute (HLPI) at the University of Houston Law Center to schedule a workshop to address public health preparations and legal measures that would assist in controlling the spread of the disease that can cause severe birth defects.

The April 8 event is aimed at public health professionals, county and city government officials, and the public. Expert speakers will address current understanding of how the virus is spread and its health effects; public health control measures, including mosquito control; and legal issues regarding control measures and emergencies.

“Zika presents a serious public health issue and the Health Law & Policy Institute wants to make sure that stakeholders can stay informed about the challenges they will face," said Associate Professor Jessica Roberts, HLPI director.

"Zika is spread by the Aedes genus of mosquito, which also transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever to humans,” said Allison Winnike, HLPI research director.  The spread of these arboviruses is a real concern in Texas, and especially here in the Houston area.

“Zika has been linked to a serious birth defect in infants (microcephaly) and Guillain-Barré syndrome,” said Winnike, who will speak at the workshop. “It is important that we understand the legal issues surrounding public health emergency preparedness and public health nuisance abatement."

Speakers include:

  • Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Director, Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services and Harris County Local Health Authority
  • Mustapha Debboun, Ph.D., Director, Mosquito Control Division, Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services
  • Allison Winnike, J.D., Director of Research and Research Professor, University of Houston Law Center - Health Law and Policy Institute

The workshop is from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 109 BLB at the University of Houston Law Center, 4604 Calhoun Road. Participating attorneys will receive 3 hours of CLE credit. Breakfast and lunch will be served. Reserved parking will be available in lot 19B. Click here for more information.

Registration is complimentary, but seating is limited. RSVP by April 6 to  

If you are unable to attend, please join us through our Zoom webinar by clicking here; or iPhone one-tap:  14086380968,901441875# or 16465588656,901441875#; or by telephone: Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll);  +1 855 880 1246 (US Toll Free); or +1 888 974 9888 (US Toll Free)

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; Elena Hawthorne, Multimedia Specialist, 713-743-1125,; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-2055, 

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 42,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

Back to News Homepage