For 10 months, my Human Rights Watch colleagues and I have been researching the impact of the Zika epidemic on women and girls in northeastern Brazil. We interviewed 183 people, including 98 women and girls. Before heading out each day, our team would conscientiously spray ourselves down with DEET and inspect any exposed skin. But three weeks ago, I was in a place I thought was safe. I was visiting Alabama, where Catherine Flowers, an environmental justice activist, told me that I wasn't dressed properly for a visit. "Those mosquitoes will eat you alive," she said as she scratched at a spot on the back of her arm before I hopped in the car.