Public backlash delays Zika spraying in Fla. as virus spreads
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Congress is still battling over emergency funding for the fight against Zika.
In the House Wednesday, Florida congressman David Jolly held up a canister of mosquitoes. They were not carrying the virus, but he said that they could be.
Mosquito spraying in Miami Beach — planned for Thursday — was put off until Friday after a public protest.
It started as a chant outside Miami Beach City Hall. Inside, it turned into an outcry.
One woman said she lives in the Zika zone of Wynwood, where the insecticide Naled was used for weeks in early August.
“My tongue for four hours felt so tight, and shaky, I was about to go to the emergency room,” she said.
And that’s what the residents of Miami Beach said they’re worried about.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the crowd public health experts have assured him the amount of Naled used is harmless to humans and has proven effective in Wynwood at reducing the mosquito population.
“I have to be consistent in application of spraying,” Gimenez said. “We cannot just pick and choose where to spray, there’s a science.”
Many people in the crowd shouted they didn’t believe the science that shows pregnant women with Zika are at risk of delivering babies with microcephaly
Dr. Christine Curry, an OB/GYN who delivered a baby with microcephaly, spoke directly to the crowd.
“Zika is real, and while we don’t understand it fully that is not a reason to dismiss its impact,” she said.
Aerial spraying won’t just happen once. After Friday, it will be done again Sunday, and the two Sunday’s after that.
One resident tweeted Wednesday that he was packing his family up for a month, and going out of town.