As the Zika outbreak in Florida reminds us, no one likes blood-sucking parasites that facilitate the spread of disease.
Yet, there seems to be little humans can do to stop mosquitoes or politicians from creating misery.
The biting insects, as you likely know, are spreading the Zika virus in south Florida.
Congressmen, meanwhile, are playing games with funds that could help curtail the spread of the virus to Georgia and other states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta, is now advising pregnant women to avoid parts of Miami Beach.
“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” says a less-than-comforting Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.
The CDC has cried wolf so often most sheep no longer listen, but Zika has my attention.
Adults who contract the virus usually get a mild fever and not much else, but those who are pregnant or otherwise making babies run the risk of having children born with smaller than normal heads and underdeveloped brains.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The CDC says the best way to prevent getting the virus is to not get bitten by mosquitoes.
That’s lovely advice, but impractical. In the South, I’ve fed mosquitoes that can bite through denim. Some of the bigger ones may be able to bite through walls.
Since Zika can also be spread sexually, the only foolproof way to stop its spread is to kill every flying insect south of Jacksonville and outlaw sex in the Sunshine State.
Women are advised to not get pregnant for eight weeks after symptoms subside. Men are told to not attempt reproduction for six months because the virus remains active longer in semen.
Condoms are thought to reduce the risk of sexual transmission, but “not having sex eliminates the risk of getting Zika from sex,” the CDC says bluntly.
If you really want to be safe, attempt nothing more amorous than a peck on the cheek, the CDC tells us on its website.
Six months seems like a long time to go without sex, which is why we have to stop this thing before it gets to Atlanta.
The flaw in this “no sex” plan is that Americans excel at not following directions. Southern states, for example, often provide abstinence-only sex education in schools but have the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country.
Even if we eliminate Florida sex and mosquitoes there’s still a chink in Georgia’s Zika armor.
Of the 536 cases reported so far in Florida, 42 were transmitted locally. That means 494 infections were found in people visiting from other Zika zones.
To fully eliminate the threat Georgia needs to shut down the Atlanta airport and build a wall on our southern border adorned with “skeeter” sprayers the size of fire hoses.
It seems like overkill now, but your sex life will thank you later.