Something funny happened to me on my way to work last week.

I passed by a garage and tire store in Calle Ocho where I saw that a small pile of old discarded tires were full of rainwater after a few stormy days.

I called one of the workers standing by and I pointed at the backwater. “Why don’t you clean it? It’s a breeding ground for dangerous mosquitoes.” “Oh, no…That water is clear…See? There’s no way any bugs are there.”

The female Aedes aegypti, the vector mosquito that transmits Zika, prefers to lay its eggs in clear water; when the water level rises to cover them, larvae emerge and begin their mutation from tumblers into adults in three days.

Public Health preventive measures—like dispatching workers to inform the residents how to take steps to limit the vector’s proliferation—might be too much asking for the authorities of the “Banana Republic of South Florida.” (BRSF) The web page of City of Miami’s Department of Risk Management has a generic discussion on Zika and does not mention preventive measures.

The explosive growth of downtown Miami during the past few years has not been accompanied by a sizable increase in its basic infrastructure like roads and sewer services. Just try to get in and out of Mary Brickell Village after a rainstorm without hitchhiking a ride in a patrolling US Navy’ s submarine. The city of Miami is dedicating limited resources to combat a potentially devastating Zika epidemic in a small. highly dense urban area.

The changing weather patterns, the incoming flux of travelers from abroad and the resilient poverty of some population segments could contribute to the outbreak of Zika virus infections in US cities. Using meteorologically-driven computer models for 2005-2015, researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research projected that the relatively warm winter weather in South Florida could sustain some low to moderate mosquito populations.

Just a few miles from the still-being-built sprawling complex of City Centre, dubbed as a wonderland of shopping and entertainment, a dinghy tire shop is a potential breeding place for dangerous bugs eager to swarm down on and bite all its unsuspecting visitors.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

3 thoughts on “Is the BRSF prepared for Zika’s arrival?

  1. Hello everybody, and thank you Mario for your information about Zika. These are not good news, but not knowing is much worse. Of course we won’t panic, but we have to be careful.
    I remember this tiny babies with their small and strange heads in Brazil. They will never have a normal life.
    How can a mosquitoe cause so hard disease? We know malaria, chikungunya, we want to believe that the danger only exists in Africa, or in poor countries. Just as if our money could protect us. Money is sometimes (often?) completely useless.
    So let’s be aware. Summer will be soon here, hot and wheat air. Mosquitoes love this weather absolutely everywhere on the earth!

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    1. Bon jour ma belle amie de l’autre cote de l’Atlantique. Thank you very much for your pointed commentary. Unfortunately since I posted this blog a few days and today the first French citizen has passed away due to a Zika infection in Martinique. We have to get properly prepared and the time is now. We cannot really trust the authorities to do all the right things before hand and we must push them to take preventive measures. Exactly, money alone is completely useless. We need a visionary and dedicated Public Health team in every major jurisdiction. When the babies are born with Microcephaly , it’s already way, way too late. As responsible parents of young girls that will have babies in the near future we must ask the right questions right now. Un bros bisou. A bientot.

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