Mosquitoes are smart. That is the opinion of Rodrigo Marín, the health official who has been directing a team of 42 persons trying to quell the zika outbreak in the Jacó area.
The epidemiologist spoke to concerned citizens who have set up a support committee.
Although the Ministerio de Salud is conducting extensive fumigating and has done so since May 9, he says that this process is not completely effective.
“Fumigating can accomplish only so much. It kills adult mosquitoes, but it does not kill eggs nor growing larva which is found in stagnant water and garbage,” he said in a summary released by the citizen committee.
He credited the mosquitoes with smart survival tactics. “They love plastic containers and lay their eggs in plastic where water evaporates and eggs cling to the surface of the container,” he said. “The eggs can lay dormant for up to a year. Just add water and the eggs turn to larva and the mosquitoes appear within 10 days.”
“It’s now the community’s responsibility to address the issue of garbage pick-up and eliminating zika mosquito breeding sites,” he said, according to the summary.
The efforts have had some success. The bulletin Wednesday from the Ministerio de Salud said that there were 53 confirmed zika cases in Jacó. That is still an increase from the report a week earlier when there were 44, but the increase is not dramatic.
The civic organization is headed by Robert Sinclair who told the crowd that the zika issue threatening Jacó is neither overblown nor an exaggeration, according to the summary. Sinclair said, “It’s real, we’ve already heard the World Health Organization warn travelers not to visit areas where zika has been identified, and that includes Costa Rica.”
Sinclair presented a comprehensive and sustainable plan which focuses on total community involvement and ranges from education in schools to massive garbage clean-ups and working with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the municipality and the business community to achieve Zika Safe goals, said the committee summary. Sinclair also asked for community donations to fund the program, the summary said.