Health au­thor­i­ties in El Salvador con­front Zika virus amid ri­val gang wars

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - FRONT PAGE -

“Con­tain­ers of wa­ter?” Cabrera asked. He peered into a blue plas­tic bar­rel, half-full and par­tially cov­ered. Across poor neigh­bour­hoods of San Salvador, in­clud­ing San Jac­into, the mu­nic­i­pal sup­ply of fresh wa­ter is spo­radic. Faucets some­times are dry for days or weeks, so res­i­dents store fresh wa­ter in buck­ets and bar­rels, ideal for the Zika-car­ry­ing Aedes mos­qui­toes, which pre­fer to lay their eggs in clean, stag­nant wa­ter.

“Lar­vas!” Cabrera shouted, point­ing. “See how many there are?”

“We’ve been try­ing to kill them,” Palomo de Her­nan­dez said qui­etly.

“It’s a lack of education,” Cabrera said. “The prob­lem is we’ve be­come so ir­re­spon­si­ble, we think the govern­ment has to solve all our prob­lems. But peo­ple don’t want to col­lab­o­rate and be part of the so­lu­tion. That’s why, as a coun­try, we’re not mov­ing for­ward.”

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