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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.

-Sixbears

15 comments:

  1. While Zika is a growing problem . What other mosquito bourn illness will creep up because people don't interact face to face and develop immunities . We are becoming physically isolated and electronically connected. Deets cleans cloudy headlight lens on cars .

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    1. I did not know that about Deet cleaning headlights. It is a powerful chemical.

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  2. Mosquitos don't travel but do hitch ride in vehicles and on cargo. Also a person carrying Zika virus can travel and get bit in a new location spreading the virus to a new population of mosquitos. Humans and our penchant for travel are the number one cause for diseases spreading.

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  3. can you tolerate cedar?

    wondercide flea and tick control.
    daughter sprays herself and mosquitoes don't come near her.
    get it at pet store. excellent stuff.

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    1. Yes to cedar, but sometimes the "inert" chemicals in the sprays are not inert for me. Might be worth a try.

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  4. I'm also suspicious of how quickly Zika came to the U.S.. Who or what aided its transport here so quickly. Killer bees took 30 years + to arrive on U.S. shores - Zika one year ?

    Was it illegal alien population that brought it here? The media tells of the numbers of infected being brought across, but not by who. Living along the Texas / U.S. border, that makes us particularly vulnerable. Our county health department has already stated our area is similar to south Florida's climate and the mosquito species that transmits Zika is already present. Luckily, we have not had rain, but that is fixing to change, September always brings rain to this area.

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    1. Puerto Ricans are US citizens and can freely enter the rest of the US.

      There are also a huge number of US tourists that travel all over the world.

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  5. Growing up and living on the Texas coast, bug bites become a daily part of life. So far nothing worse than a lot of itching and scratching as a result. Guess most old folks finally catch a break.

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    1. We've probably had all kinds of diseases that aren't even known to science and shook them off.

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  6. I understand that it isn't dangerous to adults but is really bad for pregnant ladies affecting the baby.

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    1. It might cause long term memory loss and depression in adults. Some of the new literature on the subject is troubling.

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  7. Try Sawyer's , it's 98% Deet in the pump containers.
    We use it all the time down here when out Bow hunting the jungle. Very low odor.

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  8. Try Sawyer's , it's 98% Deet in the pump containers.
    We use it all the time down here when out Bow hunting the jungle. Very low odor.

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    Replies
    1. I'll keep an eye out for it. Used to use Ben's 100.

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