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How Do You Protect Yourself From Zika When Staying Indoors Is Not An Option?

Glendina Roseborough, who works as a street cleaner in Wynwood, says she's not too concerned about Zika because she wears long sleeves and pants, and her employer provides bug repellent.
Kate Stein
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The key to avoiding Zika is avoiding contact with the mosquitoes that carry Zika. The official advice is to wear bug repellent, avoid affected areas, and stay indoors. But for people who spend extended periods of time onWynwood'sstreets, following that advice is difficult.


Glendina Roseborough works for the Wynwood Business Improvement District. She sweeps streets, working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. That’s eight hours of potential exposure to mosquitoes. But Roseborough says she’s not worried about the Zika virus.

"We wear our long sleeves, you know and our boss, he always provide us with the spray," she said.

And Roseborough and her coworkers share their bug spray with anyone in Wynwood who wants it. Tourists, business people, homeless people, visiting journalists -- Roseborough's happy to share.

So is James Bernat of the Miami Police Department. Bernat was giving bug spray to homeless people in Wynwood.

"Some are pretty aware, some are unfamiliar with the Zika virus," Bernat said of the people who accepted the repellent. "But the the the whole idea is to make sure we get the product out to them and and they’re well protected."

Rose West was sitting on the curb outside the Miami Rescue Mission as Bernat handed out the last can. West, who’s homeless, arrived too late to get any repellent. She says she isn’t worried about Zika.

"Really I haven’t paid no attention to it because there’s a lot of things going on in my life right now," West said.

Bernat said Wynwood's homeless population ranges between 30 and 50 people. He distributed nearly all of his 50 cans of repellent on Tuesday morning.

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Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.