Federal officials are warning that mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus will start biting and infecting US residents in the next month. Key trouble spots are southern Florida, Louisiana, Texas and southern California, but the risk could extend farther north.
The virus inflicts horrific brain damage on unborn children as well as neurological disorders in adults. The Obama administration’s bungled response heightens the danger.
Americans are being told to “drain, dress and deet” — drain water lingering in their yards, wear long pants and sleeves and use bug repellent. In short, avoid mosquito bites. Imagine the health of your unborn child depending on that.
That makes as much sense as “duck and cover” did in the 1950s in the event of a nuclear attack.
Today a pregnant woman’s safety hinges on how well her local government controls mosquitoes. The differences are alarming: Fort Myers, Fla., has a $24 million budget and 27 planes for mosquito control. Cash-strapped San Antonio has only two spraying trucks.