Friday, August 19, 2016
Gonna get bit
Now it looks like Zika mosquitoes are biting people in Miami Beach. The cat is out of the bag. Another nasty little bit of news is that one quarter of Puerto Rico's population will have the virus by the end of the year.
Does any of this jibe with the idea that the mosquito that transmits Zika has a very limited range during its lifetime? While I really am no expert in the spread of infectious diseases, I'm suspicious. The spread of the disease seems pretty fast if it's only being spread by a species that sticks close to home. Does that make sense?
From past experience I know that when I travel I will get bit by mosquitoes. It's just gonna happen. Long sleeve shirts and long pants? Nope, not when it's over 80 degrees out. Besides, I need the vitamin D.
Bug sprays are another problem. Thanks to lung damage when I was a firefighter I'm extremely sensitive to certain chemicals. A lot of those chemicals are used in bug sprays. It's a royal pain. My daughter and my grandkids were walking around the lake. They applied a pretty mild big spray, one that would not be harsh on the kids. I could not get within 20 feet of them and had to walk back to the house alone. When they got home their clothes went into the washer and they all took baths. Only once all trace of the bug spray was gone could I join them.
One bug spray chemical that I can actually tolerate is deet. It's a nasty chemical that can strip varnish and dissolve plastics, but for some reason it's not one of my trigger substances. While it works, it's so nasty that I tend to limit its use to when I really really need it.
I spend a lot of time outside. When my lovely wife and I travel we camp and/or sail in wild places. Even if you are careful, eventually you will get bit. Odds are we've already been exposed to other infectious diseases. Our immue systems are in pretty good shape, so that's what probably has kept us from getting sick. It's pretty early to tell, but we'd probably shake off Zika too.
If we were still of an age to have more children, it would be a much more serious concern. Young people have some serious decisions to make.