Health Care

Workers pass out mosquito repellent to homeless in Wynwood

Ray Plowdon holds up MosquitoPaq, a new repellent developed by Penta5 USA. Volunteers and employees were passing the mosquito repellent out to homeless people in Wynwood on Sunday, August 14, 2016.
Ray Plowdon holds up MosquitoPaq, a new repellent developed by Penta5 USA. Volunteers and employees were passing the mosquito repellent out to homeless people in Wynwood on Sunday, August 14, 2016.

As the push for people to protect themselves against the Zika virus continues, a Florida-based company that produces environmentally friendly wellness products took to the streets Sunday to provide mosquito repellent to the homeless.

Over several hours, Penta5 USA workers and volunteers passed out 1,400 packets of MosquitoPaQ with the help of Miami Rescue Mission.

“These are people who are more at risk,” said Dr. John Harlin, who helped distribute the packets, which he says are safe for pregnant women. Harlin said the homeless population isn’t likely to purchase mosquito repellent, but everyone should have access to it.

“The fewer people that come up with the disease the better it is for all of us,” he said.

Harlin said the Wynwood area — where 28 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been discovered — was an important part of their mission to bring the product to the public.

“Everyone was very aware of what was going on,” he said.

Read more: Miami-Dade mayor wants Gov. Scott to foot $6 million Zika bill

Sunday’s effort came as business owners and local leaders are trying to get people back to the arts district, which is the only active transmission area for the Zika virus in the continental United States.

On Saturday, business owners offered specials during the area’s monthly Art Walk as a way to lure people back. “Goodwill ambassadors” also passed out bug repellent wipes and pamphlets on the virus.

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado was among the crowds of people that showed up Saturday, August 13, 2016, in Wynwood for the Wynwood Art Walk despite the Zika concerns.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff

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