Mérida, Yucatán — Unlike past campaigns, where homeowners were reluctant to cooperate with authorities, state officials report that residents have been generally receptive to the 5,500-person brigade going door-to-door to prevent the proliferation of Aedes aegypti. That’s the scientific name for the mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya and zika.
They began this week in Mérida and will spread out to the rest of Yucatán in the next several days.
This unprecedented state-led campaign also provides information and helps people identify potential larvae breeding grounds in their own backyards — flower pots with standing water, for example.
Homes that pass inspection get a certificate of approval.
All members of the brigades are uniformed with bright yellow vests and white caps. They carry official Health Ministry identification.
The outbreak of dengue and chikungunya is blamed for statewide economic losses in the millions as workers stay home and avail themselves of public health care.
Zika, which hit Mexico only last November, has hit most heavily in Chiapas, with 35 possible cases; and Oaxaca, 21. Yucatán is awaiting confirmation of one possible zika diagnosis.