Letters to the Editor

July 2, 2014

Spraying won't prevent West Nile virus

Re "District will spray south Sacramento for West Nile virus" (Health and Medicine, June 30) Human infection by West Nile virus: 80 percent no symptoms, 20 percent mild illness. Only 1 in 150 infections require medical attention.

Risk of severe infection is so low that there has never been a transmission rate of more than 1 per 10,000 worldwide and 1 per 100,000 in urban areas of the U.S.

According to the CDC, the West Nile virus is a mild disease with low risk contagion compared to other infections.

Spraying dangerous neurotoxic, potentially carcinogenic organophosphates over populated areas makes no sense. There is no alarming evidence from current mosquito samples to justify this. The drought has reduced breeding habitats. The total population of mosquitoes is down. There is no increased threat. Rates of transmission are naturally decreasing.

Comparing mosquito infection rates over the years shows samples this year are minuscule. There is no safe amount of this pesticide containing dichlorvos listed under Proposition 65. Spraying is ineffective causing greater harm overall.

-- Julie Ostoich, Sacramento

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