Storm aftermath: Mosquitoes could spell trouble for Quad-Cities

Way too much water.

It has poured rain where I live – as in torrential downpours, with high winds and spectacular lightning – for 10 hours straight.

For the moment, it has stopped. I have power.

It was knocked out about 7:30 p.m. last night as I was filming the storm out the back door. I caught the transformation explosion (you can see the lightning bolt and hear the electrifying pop) on tape!

It came back on shortly after midnight, and has gone on and off several times since then.

But we have bigger problems. I want to talk a bit about mosquitoes

Crickets, locusts, lullaby me to sleep

But before I forget, a shout out to MidAmerican Energy. I don’t know how they restore power so fast. There must be some new technology. Or just an impressive amount of manpower.

I have to say that until it got stuffy, it was sort of cool with all the power out. The neighborhood was totally silent minus the sound of a chainsaw off in the distance. Presumably, they were working to clear a downed line.

This neighborhood is filled with crickets and locust and critters and such that LOVE weather like this. They were playing a symphony that took me right back to 1975, when my parents did not turn the air on come hell or high water.

Mosquitoes see stagnant, warm puddles as bath houses

Speaking of high water…where has all this water gone? Where will it go?

Finally, I don’t want to be alarmist, but there was a tiny blurb in the Argus last week about West Nile virus mosquitoes confirmed in Rock Island County.

Stagnant puddles of water – which are EVERYWHERE in the Quad-Cities and will be for days to come – are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It’s where they lay their eggs.

So try to remove any standing water around your house.

West Nile virus causes fever, vomiting, headache, and body aches. In some people, it can result in death. Older people and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk.

What is Zika and who is most at risk?

I’ll be honest. I can take a hunch and with the proper Google search terms confirm it or not. Look what I just found.

This January 2016 Mother Jones story asks whether El Nino is to blame for Zika. It talks about flooding in South America, and how it fueled a Zika outbreak.

Check out my portfolio of paid work on matters of public health

Said Laurie Garrett, a global health expert: “It will definitely make its way to the United States.”

For the record, the Illinois Department of Public Health says Zika likely won’t come here because our mosquitoes don’t carry the virus.

If I were a pregnant woman in Illinois, I would just pretend like it’s here anyway and be careful. West Nile can’t be good if you’re pregnant either.

But I am not a doctor and that is just what I would do.

Mosquito advice from Martha Garcia

My super-duper smart friend Martha Garcia wrote this story about staying safe from mosquitoes. She’s funny and tells it like it is. Like me, she’s out to inform.

Love my Martha Garcia.

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