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Here come the mosquito warriors

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More than 5,500 volunteers will go door-to-door in every municipality in Yucatan to fight the spread of dangerous mosquitos. Handout photo
More than 5,500 volunteers will go door-to-door in every municipality in Yucatan to fight the spread of mosquitoes. Handout photo

Mérida, Yucatán — With a mission to visit half a million properties throughout the state, more than 5,500 uniformed mosquito warriors will swarm 106 municipalities to prevent future cases of dengue, chikungunya and zika.

Allocated a 15-million-peso budget, Gov. Rolando Zapata Bello launched Operation Door to Door at a massive ceremony held yesterday in the Siglo XXI Convention Center.

Agents, mostly volunteers working in brigades, are trained to inspect backyards and promote practices, such as allowing standing water, that give way to the spread of mosquitoes.

They will be armed with 186 backpack sprayers, 65 heavy machines and 30 thermal foggers to kill the flying pests and to destroy larvae.

Preventive measures have brought results, reducing dengue-related hospitalizations from 914 in 2013 to 373 last year. No cases of zika have yet been confirmed in Yucatán. Of three suspected cases, two have been dismissed while the remaining case is pending.

Brigades start immediately in Mérida, where 3,000 volunteers and employees are deployed.

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