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.