APPENDIX II-Q: A Tale of
(Beyond Pesticides, May 4, 2007)
Recently published research comparing two adjacent
The study, entitled “Behavioral Risks for West Nile Virus Disease, Northern Colorado, 2003” (Gujral et al., Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 13, No. 3), calls into question the ability of spray programs to actually reduce the risk and transmission of the virus. Additionally, it shows spray programs may be giving communities a false sense of security, and re-emphasizes the importance of personal preventative measures in lowering disease rates.
During the height of the outbreak, from July
After a full analysis of public perception
and behavior, the authors were left with this question, “Did Loveland residents
choose to rely on the city’s control program instead of practicing individual
preventive measures?” They concluded that
In an effort to explain the findings, a telephone survey was conducted to assess differences in personal protection and risk practices by each city’s residents. In Larimer County, which encompasses both Fort Collins and Loveland, health officials encourage residents to “Fight the Bite,” with the typically recommended four Ds of prevention: (1) DEET (Beyond Pesticides recommends using less toxic repellents, such as oil of lemon eucalyptus or picaridin (KBR 3023) products) - wear an insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide); 2) Dress - wear long sleeves and long pants; 3) Drain - drain standing water around the home; and 4) Dusk to dawn - limit time outdoors during this time.
The study concluded that personal protective practices may directly influence rates of WNv infection and remain important even when comprehensive community mosquito control measures are implemented.
The authors conclude WNv neuroinvasive disease rates may be due, in part, to lower use of repellents containing DEET (they did not discuss other repellents) and greater dusk to dawn outdoor exposure among
Beyond Pesticides believes the ideal mosquito management strategy emphasizes education, aggressive removal of standing water sources, larval control, monitoring and surveillance for both mosquito-borne illness and pesticide-related illness. The decision to use pesticides meant for adult mosquito control should be open to public discussion and only made after carefully evaluating all the contributing factors to human epidemics. Citizens should also be given the right to opt-out of spray programs and notice in advance so they can protect themselves.
TAKE ACTION: Find out about safer mosquito repellents, smart community mosquito management, and public service annoucements you can request to be played on your local radio station at http://www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito.
This appendix is copied from: