[Ed. – If you hadn’t heard, the experts at NIH are the ones using the “p” word. Get smart on this virus, especially if you’re a woman of child-bearing age.]
The Zika virus outbreak is the latest batch of blood on the dirty hands of Rachel Carson and the entire environmental movement which puts mosquitoes ahead of people. There was a time when we beat insect-born diseases through simple and easy methods that worked.
What for the US? This needs to be watched. The mosquito that carries Zika, and also dengue and chikungunya, has a wide range in the United States: throughout the South, and as far as New York City. Dengue and chikungunya are increasing in the Americas, and dengue recently became established in Florida. Avoiding these diseases requires doing things that Americans used to take for granted back when insect-borne illnesses were a common concern, which was before DDT eradicated malarial mosquitoes
But environmentalists eradicated DDT instead. DDT worked in Brazil.
The eradication of Aedes aegypti (the mosquito that transmits both dengue and Zika) in Brazil was driven by the fear of another flavivirus it transmitted, yellow fever. A DDT programme started in 1947. Brazil was declared free of the mosquito in 1958. But in 1976 it came back, probably flying in from Venezuela and the Carribean. Dengue came into the country in 1981. The aim of eradicating Aedes aegypti was dropped and replaced with a control policy in 1986. The mosquito has thrived. It likes people and loves to lay its desiccation-resistant eggs in manmade water containers.
Environmentalists love control policies.