To document climate change’s effects on the fight against mosquitoes, Maryn McKenna turned to Texas.
The best defenses rest on individual actions, like clearing garbage and pools of water—strategies that tend to place a heavy burden on poor families.
Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, points to accumulating garbage in Houston’s Fifth Ward, a historically neglected black community. “It was clear the garbage infuriated him,” McKenna writes. “In a colder city, it might have represented victimless cheating; in an area where the [Zika] virus might land, it was a threat to mothers and children.”
Consider these stats:
- Since 1980, days with ideal conditions for mosquitoes increased by 5 days in 125 American cities
- Mosquito seasons have grown by a month in 10 cities
Source: The New York Times