To Spray or Not to Spray Mosquitos

Photo taken from Google Images

For the next four posts, I want to explore the question of whether spraying mosquitos is the most effective way to deal with the zika virus. Places, like Florida, have recently been sprayed with poison for the mosquitos, Floridians and environmentalists are demanding to halt the usage of chemical sprays drizzled into their air and homes. I want to find out what are the other solutions to help lower the numbers and get rid of mosquitos that are infected with zika virus.

This is an issue now since the zika virus is still trying to be put under control. Places like Florida have been sprayed with chemicals via airplane to kill mosquitos in area. The government is using the spray as a substance to help stop the spread of the zika virus but the citizens in that area are not satisfied because of the power the chemical holds and what it is also doing.

Opponents want to ban chemical sprays to kill mosquitos because of the harmful components in the spray, while supporters want to continue spraying the mosquitos to immediately kill offspring and mosquitos in the area that could possibly be caring zika virus. Naled being the main ingredient in the spray that the citizens are unhappy about, Naled is a chemical that “Affects the enzymes that control muscle contraction” says The New York Time post on the chemical spraying over florida for zika virus control. The same New York Time post stated that “Overdoses can cause vomitng, seizures and loss of consciousness. At extreme doses, from a spill for example, victims lose their ability to breathe, and die.” That is what Naled can do because the chemical is so strong to us humans.

For the supporting side the government is using the spray as a money saving venue to get rid of mosquitos carrying the virus. Brazil making bioengineered misquotes and are planning on releasing them to get rid of the zika virus. Brazil obviously is choosing a new and more expensive route to get rid of zika virus carrying mosquitos.”it’s too early to tell how much the mosquitoes will cost if they are reared on a much larger scale. “It’s only when you roll up your sleeves and build a factory that you know what your costs are.”” but right now the mosquitos are “$1.1 million over 2 years” of cost in the area they are treating.

Naled the chemical they are using in the spray is one killing spray that the mosquitos have not adapted to yet there by making it effective in killing the mosquitos. Sprays already being used and sold in stores are not as effective given some have adapted to the more commonly used chemicals.

The opposing side has come to show that the sprays are also killing other insects such as the bumblebee, “Spraying Naled can kill bees outside of their hives at the time of spraying; therefore, spraying is limited to dawn or dusk when bees are inside their hives.” That statement is coming from a government ran website Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This is extremely harmful to our eco system since bees are already endangered, as stated above not all bees can be saved during the spraying because not all will be in their hives.


There are just the same as good and bad reason on whether or not spray pesticides are the best way to deal with the zika virus. The government states that this direction is safe an FDA approved while in correct dosage,but citizens and environmentalist are still not happy with this usage.


Things You May Not Know About the Zika Virus

On NPR KQED Public Radio a airing from Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross has Donald G. McNeil Jr. to guest speak about the zika virus on a radio airing called ‘Nobody Is Immune’: Bracing For Zika’s First Summer In The U.S. Donald G. McNeil Jr. is a reporterfrom The New York Times and has also written a book titled Zika The Emerging Epidemic. The key points this source touched on were how this virus is transmitted, how it could affect a child in the long run and where this virus originated from along with where the U.S. is right now in having a vaccine.
After listening to this radio recording I know my thinking has changed depending on the information given because it has widen my prospective of this virus and how this virus works.
When McNeil Jr. speaks about how this virus is transmitted it was quite interesting when he said that the zika virus can only be transmitted sexually from man to women or man to man, not women to man or women to women. The reason why that is is because the virus can live in the prostate and testes of a man and since it is hard for virus to get into those areas it takes long for viruses to leave.
Another interesting fact dealing with the transmission of the virus is that women who want to breast feed and have been affected with the zika virus are given the green light to breast feed for it has not been found to transmit to a child through breast milk. I find this information very eye opening in the sense on how the virus can be transmitted.
Terry Gross asked Donald G. McNeil Jr., Where was the zika virus first found? And his response was that it was long ago discovered in 1947 in a monkey in the zika forest of Uganda. This virus along with thousands and millions others are discovered by scientist way before they become a problem to human population, the only situation is that scientist do not know when a virus is going to become a problem or ever even become one. This information gives a whole new look on viruses and makes me wonder why a vaccine wasn’t made before hand to stop the spread of this virus, and the answer to that could be that scientist find so many viruses how do they know which ones to make one for.
Photo taken from Google Images
Mr. McNeil Jr. said a very important piece of information about the development of the zika virus vaccine. “It’ll probably be two, three, four years until there’s a vaccine.  Most scientists who know vaccines say this is a disease that will be relatively easy to make a vaccine for because we have one for yellow fever, we have one for Japanese encephalitis, there’s a new one for dengue. These are all related viruses.” After saying that he says “You could literally take the spines of those vaccine viruses and snip out the genes that code for the outside of the yellow fever virus and attach with DNA technology, the genes for the outside of the Zika virus”
Vaccines have already been made and are being tested which take a minimum of two years to gather data in order to see if the vaccine efficiently works. Ground braking information that the virus has a vaccine made and in testing trial helps me know that the U.S. is taking steps to defeat this virus.
The information given in this radio recording does nothing but give me new information to broaden my ways of thinking on this subject. With this virus being new it is so fascinating to learn new information that I share to educate people about the zika virus.

Getting Tested for the Zika Virus is Harder than You Think

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In an article written by Roni Caryn Rabin, Want a Zika Test? It’s Not Easy, on The New York Times, is an article informing us that it is not easy to get the Zika virus test. Real United States citizens are being denied of getting tested for the zika virus because of the back load on the demand for the test. There are now particular guidelines placed in order to get the test, one of which being that you have to be already pregnant and have gone to infected areas outside or inside the United States, or if you’re showing signs that you may have the virus, though most people infected show no symptoms.
Commenters on this article have taken quite a strong stance, most people believe that everyone should have access to take this test, while a smaller percentage of commenters do not see it as a issue that not all Americans have access to this testing upon demand before they are pregnant or show symptoms.
Strong opinions are stated in the commentary section. Pamela B a user that commented on this article mentioned that getting this test as a precaution to see if you should get pregnant is an extent of even being a responsible human, by trying your best to bring a healthy child into this world. This user when she is saying that getting the test/ wanting to take it as a precaution makes someone a responsible person because it is a need to know situation. If you are carrying the zika virus when you are trying to conceive a baby the zika virus can intensely change a fetuses brain development.
Another opinion that stands behind the reason why all Americans should have access to this test is because the U.S. has made Zika such a big safety risk  user by the name of Bss mentioned their concern in the comments on how can Americans not be anxious and worried that they have the virus when zika protection tips and advisory not to visit into zika infected areas is everywhere on the news. It only makes sense to be worried about your own self when contracting the zika virus is a high risk.
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Some commenters have no hold back of their opinions online. A user named Liz has her own mind to speak on why not all Americans should have testing upon demand “Some of us are actively pregnant (20 weeks here), and are still waiting for our own Zika test results. For me, it has been 14 weeks. 14 weeks of waiting, and still no answer. My apologies if I am not deeply sympathetic to those who just wish to plan ahead. First, let’s deal with the backlog of actual pregnant people.” Liz as she just stated has no compassion  towards women who want to get the test before they get pregnant because she already being pregnant is still waiting to hear her results because of the load of patients getting tested.
These users commenting take their opinions to form a majority group of people that believe everyone should have access to zika virus testing. This may not be a possibility that can happen right now, but hopefully more health care providers are given equipment to perform these test and more labs open up where the test can be administrated. This topic of the testing being available to all will probably stay as a debate until the testing is available to everyone upon request.